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I Have High Arches — Will My Children?

I Have High Arches — Will My Children?

Some people with high arches have an inherited structural foot deformity. If you have high arches unrelated to any other foot or health condition, you may pass the foot problem to your children.

But knowing in advance that your children may have high arches is a good thing. Expert care early on may prevent the problems that come with this foot condition.

At our practice in Coral Gables, Florida, our experienced and holistic podiatrist, Dr. Richard Hochman, takes a preventive approach to foot health, offering specialized diagnostic and treatment technologies to diagnose, treat, and prevent foot conditions. 

 

In this month's blog post, we want to talk about high arches, how they affect your feet and body, and treatment options for you and your children.

About high arch feet

The arch is the curved area between the heel and toes on the bottom of your foot. Certain bones in the foot form the arch, held together and supported by tendons and ligaments.

A high arch means the curve of the arch is higher than normal, so the sole of your foot has less contact with the ground when you are standing and walking. 

You can check to see if your arch is too high by wetting your foot and then stepping onto a piece of paper. If the imprint shows the heel and ball of the foot with nothing in between, you may have high arches. 

Only a doctor can diagnose high arches. Neurological disorders like cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy are the most common causes of high arches. But high arches are also common in people with an inherited abnormal foot structure, so it’s a foot problem you can pass to your children.

How your foot arch affects your health

Your feet are very complex, designed to support and evenly distribute the weight of your body when in motion. The foot arch supports the biomechanics of the foot so weight is evenly distributed across the foot and the other weight-bearing joints.

If you have high arch feet, weight distribution is uneven, stressing mostly the heel and ball of the foot. Over time, the excess weight and stress causes foot pain when standing or walking. 

 

The imbalance in the foot also affects posture and weight distribution to the other joints, and may cause knee, hip, or back pain.

Additionally, high arches make your feet less flexible. When you walk your feet roll outward, placing excess stress on your ankles, increasing your risk of ankle sprains, shin splints, calluses, and foot fractures.

High arches can also cause other foot problems like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia (inflammation in the ball of the foot), and hammertoes.

Treatment for high arch feet

Inherited high arch feet tend not to worsen over time like neurological causes. Early intervention may prevent the problems that high arches cause. 

Treatment for high arches focuses on improving weight distribution and foot support and may include:

Orthotics

Custom orthotics are shoe inserts made specifically for your foot that provide the arch support your foot needs, improving biomechanics, stability, and posture. 

Change in footwear

Wearing shoes with more ankle support (high tops) or a wider heel provides more stability and reduces foot pain.

Bracing

If the outward turning of your foot is severe, we may recommend a foot and ankle brace to improve support and prevent the abnormal turning.

Physical therapy

Stretching and strengthening exercises that focus on the muscles in the feet, ankles, and lower leg can improve foot stability and reduce the risk of high arch foot problems.

We only consider surgery for high arches for patients who have severe foot pain that affects quality of life. 

Your child can inherit your high arches, but they don’t have to suffer through the problems that come with it. We can help you and your child keep your feet healthy. Call us today or request an appointment online to learn how to manage high arches.

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