What are the causes and remedies for high arches?

Symptom Database

High arches, also known as pes cavus, is a condition where the arch of the foot is higher than normal. This can cause various problems such as foot pain, instability, and difficulty finding comfortable footwear. In this article, we will explore the causes of high arches and discuss remedies to alleviate the associated symptoms.

Causes of High Arches

High arches can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Genetics: Some individuals are born with a higher arch due to inherited foot structure.
  • Neurological conditions: Certain neurological disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, can lead to high arches.
  • Muscle imbalances: Weakness or tightness in the muscles of the feet and lower legs can contribute to the development of high arches.
  • Injuries: Trauma to the foot or ankle can result in the formation of high arches.

It is important to identify the underlying cause of high arches in order to determine the most appropriate treatment approach.

Remedies for High Arches

Arch Support

One of the most effective ways to alleviate the symptoms of high arches is by providing proper arch support. This can be achieved through the use of orthotic inserts or arch support insoles. These devices help distribute weight evenly across the foot, reducing pressure on the arch and providing stability.

Foot Pain Relief

Foot pain is a common complaint among individuals with high arches. To relieve pain, it is important to wear shoes that provide adequate cushioning and support. Look for shoes with cushioned soles and arch support. Additionally, using ice packs or taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate discomfort.

Exercises for High Arches

Performing specific exercises can help strengthen the muscles in the feet and lower legs, improving stability and reducing the risk of injury. Some exercises that are beneficial for individuals with high arches include:

  • Toe curls: Sit on a chair and place a towel on the floor. Use your toes to scrunch up the towel towards you.
  • Arch stretches: Stand facing a wall and place your hands on it for support. Step one foot back and press the heel towards the ground, feeling a stretch in the arch of the foot.
  • Calf raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly rise up onto your toes. Lower back down and repeat.

These exercises should be performed regularly to see improvements in foot strength and flexibility.

Best Shoes for High Arches

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for individuals with high arches. Look for shoes that offer good arch support, cushioning, and stability. Avoid shoes with high heels or narrow toe boxes, as they can exacerbate foot pain and discomfort. Consider consulting with a podiatrist or shoe specialist to find the best shoes for your specific needs.

Treatment for High Arches

While high arches cannot be completely cured, the associated symptoms can be managed effectively. In addition to the remedies mentioned above, other treatment options include:

  • Physical therapy: Working with a physical therapist can help improve foot strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • Custom orthotics: In some cases, custom-made orthotic devices may be recommended to provide optimal support and alignment.
  • Surgery: In severe cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be considered. However, this is typically a last resort option.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.


High arches can cause discomfort and instability, but with the right remedies and treatment, the associated symptoms can be effectively managed. Arch support, proper footwear, exercises, and other treatment options can help alleviate foot pain and improve overall foot function. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan. By taking proactive steps, individuals with high arches can find relief and enjoy a more comfortable and active lifestyle.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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