After a long day, your feet might feel tired or sore. For most people, sitting down, elevating the legs, a foot soak, or a massage will bring some comfort. For some people – especially those with high arches – relief can be much harder to find.
Pes cavus is a medical term that podiatrists use to describe a foot with a very high arch. High arches cause an excessive amount of weight to be placed on the ball and heel of the foot and can cause instability when standing or walking, difficulty wearing shoes, and pain can result. Pes cavus is the opposite of pes planus, which refers to fallen arches or flat feet. The condition is less common and more problematic. It usually occurs in both feet and at an early age.
High arches can be the result of numerous factors, including heredity and anatomical variation. If pes cavus appears suddenly or in one foot only, it may be the result of trauma or a neuromuscular disease. It can develop at any age and can occur in one or both feet.
Initially, pes cavus may be asymptomatic, but symptoms can appear progressively with age. Feet with high arches are less able to absorb the shock of heel strike during walking than typical feet. The toes may develop a "clawing" deformity resulting in corns at the tips or on the tops of the toes or plantar calluses under the ball of the foot. Stress on the bones, muscles, and tendons of the feet, ankles, and lower legs can cause additional issues, and compensating for that discomfort may refer pain to the knees, hips, and lower back. You may notice a shortening of the foot or pain and inflexibility in the arch area. When high arches go unaddressed for years, other complications can result, including hammertoes, bunions, and foot and ankle injuries.
If you’re experiencing foot pain, the first step is to see your podiatrist. With decades of specialized education and experience, your foot doctor is the most qualified professional for the job. He or she can determine if a high arch is at the root of the problem, or if the cause might be another disease or condition. If pes cavus is to blame, additional investigation will be necessary to rule out any underlying neurological condition. From there, your doctor can work with you to determine what treatment is appropriate and to provide thorough aftercare.
If you suspect that you have pes cavus, or you have any other concerns about your feet, click here or call Advanced Feet and Ankle Care at (732) 679-4330 today to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Jason Grossman in our comfortable Old Bridge or Sayreville offices.