Do I have high or low arches? Does it matter?

archesPeople have a wide variety of foot sizes, shapes, types and deformities. Mr. Roger’s of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood taught that each child is special and everyone is different in the world. This is also true of the foot.  Thankfully, no matter what the foot type you have, the function stays the same. With every step, your foot goes through subtle, yet very complex movements to do one of two things: #1) absorb shock, or #2) stiffen up to balance or push off. When people have pain, it’s usually because one or the other is not working right.

From looking at the foot from the side, there are three general foot types: high arch, normal, and flatfoot. Most people do actually have more of a normal arch but that does not mean they are pain or problem free. Normal arched patients can have all the same ailments as the rest of the other foot types. However, the low and high arch foot types have several problems that are more unique to each.

In flatfoot deformity, the bony structure is good at shock absorption. However, it has a more difficult time staying stable and strong as a “rigid lever” to push off. Frequently the tendons on the inside of the ankle start to hurt trying to keep the arch up and patients get pains as the arch flattens out. The legs tend to fatigue quickly as well.

For high arches, the foot has a tough time aligning the bones for proper cushioning. Hammertoes quickly develop and sometimes these feet frequently sprain because the front of the foot points inward more, causing the ankle to turn.  In severe cases, it can even be a sign of progressive neurological problems.

No matter what the foot type, shape, or size the NMFAI can help alleviate your pain, even on day one.

Don’t Live Life in Pain! Call us today for an appointment at 505.880.1000. We take care of your feet…so that they’ll take care of you!

Justin Ward, DPM


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