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I'm a long distance runner with very high arches. In the past, I've occasionally had arch pains, but they went away when I got good shoes and inserts.

A few months ago, I got new shoes and the arch pain came back. I've tried to fix it by getting another pair of shoes, high-quality running inserts, and putting athletic tape around my feet. The pain hasn't gone away, though. What else can I do?

I should say that I've only tried running with the new inserts, shoes, and tape once. Is it worth trying to run in them for a few times before giving up on them?

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What kind of training do you do? How long? What terrain? –  lorddarkangel Feb 17 at 7:59
    
I usually run 40 to 60 minutes for 4 to 8 miles. During the winter, I usually run on a hard track, and when it's warm outside, I run on sidewalks and concrete paths. I'm not trying to prepare for a race or build up to longer distances; instead, I run to maintain my overall well-being. –  Kevin Feb 17 at 18:30
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3 Answers

I will not diagnose, but it certainly sounds like plantar fascitis, or inflammation of the plantaris. This is likely due to over use. You can also try a tennis ball in the same fashion as the water bottle, and try pulling a towel with your toes until it's past the toes.

To heal microtrauma from over-use, you have to let the plantaris rest. Because you have a high arch, I believe seeing a podiatrist (and conversely a pedorthist) will be in your best interest.

Store bought solutions are typically not a great solution, unless your feet are in perfect biomechanical condition (most people aren't). Be sure to seek proper custom (made for you, and you alone) orthotics, and from a pedorthist who makes insoles in house-be wary, as many pedorthists send their stuff out. Custom orthotics aren't typically cheap, but your feet will thank you. Your podiatrist should have pedorthists to recommend, but once again, be wary-I've heard horror stories.

Proper footwear should feel better right away-you typically shouldn't have to adjust to it unless there is something else going on, like you're trying out Fivefingers (safe to say those are contraindicated for you; more for those who have perfect feet again)

Full disclosure, my father is a pedorthist. He makes his stuff in house. That is not where I'm getting the majority of my data though-I am a professional in exercise science.

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After I did some research, this is my current plan:

  • One simple thing I can do is freeze a water bottle, then roll it underneath my arches for 5 minutes several times a day. This both massages and ices he painful arches.
  • It looks like I might have plantar fasciitis, which often goes away in three to four months. I'm planning on using elliptical trainers and riding my bike, which are similar to running but don't stress my arches, until the pain goes away.
  • I'm also planning on talking to a podiatrist about the pain. At this point, since new shoes, inserts, and athletic tape haven't helped, I think medical attention might be necessary.
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I saw a podiatrist, who said that I have unusually high arches. He suggested I look for even higher arch support inserts and to come back for custom orthotics if those don't help.

I asked him about plantar fasciitis specifically. He described the pain that condition causes as a sharp, intense pain near the back of the foot that's most noticeable when you first wake up but goes away somewhat throughout the day. In contrast, my pain is a sharp ache in middle of the bottom of my foot, in the middle of my arch. So it looks like instead of having plantar fasciitis, I just don't have proper arch support.

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