A high arched foot is one where there is a marked elevation of the longitudinal arch both on and off weight bearing. This type of foot by itself is usually not a problem but tends to cause other difficulties, which frequently require treatment. For instance, the high arched foot creates excessive pressure on the ball of the foot and frequently produces thick and uncomfortable calluses. Hammertoes are also common with this foot type, which may cause problems with certain shoes. In addition, the high arched foot is notoriously known as a poor shock absorber, frequently resulting in discomfort in the heel and arch areas.
The three main causes of high arched feet include congenital development (at birth), trauma or injury (involving nerve damage), and certain neurological conditions. It is important to thoroughly evaluate a high arched foot in order to determine its probable cause. The type of therapy selected will then have a much better chance for success. It should be kept in mind that not all high arched feet require treatment. In the absence of symptoms or progressive soft tissue changes, clinical treatment may be unwarranted.
The treatment of the high arched foot is directed at supporting the elevated mid section of the foot, providing shock absorptive benefits to those areas in need, and improving the functional mechanics of the foot and ankle. Orthotics prescribed by a foot specialist are the most effective means of accomplishing these objectives. The high arched foot usually responds well in a relatively short period of time to the use of orthotic supportive devices. In certain rare cases where the condition is excessive and defies therapeutic control, surgery might become a consideration.