ZocdocAnswersDo I have fallen arches?

Question

Do I have fallen arches?

What exactly are fallen arches? I?m 47 and I?ve started to have severe pain in the arches of my feet. It is making walking very uncomfortable. What could be causing this pain if it isn?t fallen arches?

Answer

There are actually several potential causes of pain in your feet with walking. You will need to go see your primary care doctor to help you figure it out, however. "Fallen arches" refers to a condition in which the supportive curve on the inside edge of the foot becomes flattened. Some people are born with relatively flat arches, whereas in other people it can develop related to numerous conditions over time as they age. Although 'flat arches' alone is not a medical problem, it does predispose to strain and over use injuries in the ligaments and connective tissue of the foot that can cause pain. One of the most common problems that is associated with fallen arches is something called plantar fasciitis. This is a condition in which the tissue in front of the heel bone becomes inflamed and painful, especially with walking and standing. Plantar fasciitis often responds to supportive footwear and anti inflammatory medications, as well as special foot and calf stretching and strengthening exercises which your doctor can teach you how to perform. Other common problems that can cause this kind of food pain include bone spurs and stress fractures in the small bones of the feet. Start by going to see your primary care doctor, who will help you figure out what is going on.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.