4 ways to get rid of aching arches in your feet

Foot Care

by Dr. Sarang Desai

Jun 22, 2021

As a foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon, I can tell you one of the most common complaints I get: aching arches. Arch pain is often caused by low-arched feet. The terminology for low arched feet can be somewhat confusing, but common names used to describe them include pes planus, overpronator and flat feet. These terms essentially all describe the same condition.

Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re dealing with painful arches.

What causes aching arches?

Feet come in many different shapes in sizes. There are a broad range of foot types, from feet that are very high-arched to feet that are very low-arched. The majority of people with low arches have no problems at all. In fact, most people don’t even know they have low arches.

I spend a lot of time explaining to my patients that just because you or your child has low arches does not mean there is anything wrong. I always tell them it’s just the way you’re built.

That being said, some people with low arches can develop discomfort with their arch. Sometimes, due to the position of the foot, an abnormal strain can be put on the arch, and this is often associated with a tight calf muscle, hamstring and Achilles tendons. Pain may develop with extended periods of walking, standing or athletic activity.

When examining your feet, it is important to look at them when standing. I often see patients that think they have normal arches because they look at them while seated on the exam table. Foot position is best accessed when your full weight is being placed on your feet.

How to get rid of arch pain

If you are having arch pain and suspect you have low arches, try these simple steps:

Wear the correct type of tennis or running shoe

For an overpronator, a stability type shoe is often beneficial.

Use over-the-counter arch supports

You can find these in many pharmacy or grocery stores.


Stretch the calf, Achilles tendon and hamstring several times a day to increase flexibility and take the strain off the arch.

Know when to get help

If your pain persists, speak with a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist.

About the Author

Dr. Desai is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in injuries and disorders of the foot and ankle. He was an All-American athlete and continues to lead an active lifestyle lifting weights, doing triathlons and participating in yoga.


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