High arches, also known as Cavus Foot, can occur at any age and is largely accredited to neurological disorders or medical conditions such as, Polio, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Stroke or Spina Bifida.
Patients may also experience higher arches due to heredity, nerve trauma or from birth as a minor irregularity.
What may not be minor about this irregularly high arch is that it can cause patients serious pain and discomfort if not addressed.
Side Effects Of High Arches
Those with high arches simply have less of a platform to distribute their weight across their foot or feet. So instead of applying the pressure of standing, walking, running or jumping evenly throughout the foot, an elevated arch will take away a large surface area and apply that pressure to the ball and heel of the foot instead. Patients with high arches are practically walking in high heels in their natural state. This can cause serious damage to your heel, toes, ball of your foot and even ankles if left unsupported. Side effects of Cavus Foot include:
- Corns on ball, side or heel of foot
- Calluses on ball, side or heel of foot
- Hammertoes (Bent toes)
- Claw Toes(when toes appear clenched like a fist)
- Foot pain
- Foot drop (weakness that leads to patients unable to lift the foot when stepping causing them to drag the foot)
These side effects will worsen if gone untreated or the foot is left unsupported. As the foot is less able to support weight effectively, it is only a matter of time before symptoms begin to occur and then worsen. Those suffering from Cavus Foot as a result of a neurological disorder are almost certain to experience worsening symptoms as the symptoms progress in tandem with the natural progression of their condition. This is why treatment for high arches is recommended right away, especially for patients with a neurological or medical condition.
Treatment Options For Cavus Foot
If we look at the major concerns of high arches, it clear what needs to be addressed to remediate the symptoms of Cavus Foot. Because patients have less foot support, added support is the first step that Dallas podiatrists take to help their patients with high arches live a normal life.
These treatment options include:
Orthotics – Custom orthotic shoe inserts can fill in the gap where your foot would ideally be and provide support and cushion for the foot.
Braces – Braces can be used to help support the foot and ankle and manage foot drop in severe cases of Cavus Foot.
Shoe support – Shoe modifications such as higher tops or wider heels can help provide extra support to the ankle to assist with a patient’s instability.
Surgery may be necessary to increase stability, strength and reduce pain caused by high arches. It is recommended for patients with severe neurological conditions that will get worse to proactively support their feet through surgical means.
Contact your local DeSoto podiatry clinic to see which treatment option is right for your high arches.