Your foot is comprised of your tarsal and metatarsal bones, along with supporting ligaments and tendons. Touch the top of any one of your toes and trace the bone down to the centre of your foot. Your fingers will eventually trace a bone called your metatarsal. Attached to your toe bones, these five metatarsal bones help you stand, walk, and run by distributing your weight evenly to keep you balanced. Connected to your metatarsals, near the back of your foot, are seven tarsal bones. Together, your tarsals and metatarsals form your arch. An important structure connected to your arch is your posterior tibialis tendon. This muscle originates behind your shin bone, runs inside your ankle, and attaches to several of your tarsal bones within your arch. This tendon is responsible for maintaining a healthy, supportive arch during your everyday activities.
When any of these arch-related bones, ligaments, and tendons are weakened or injured from overuse, excessive activity, or wear and tear from ageing, then you may start experiencing arch pain.
Orthotics or shoe inserts. These will help support your arch, stabilize your heel, and ease some of the stress on your posterior tibialis tendon.
Arch supports. Specialized arch supports help relieve some of your arch pain and discomfort. Make sure you know your arch type (low, medium, or high) since the shape and height of your arch support should match your arch type and height.
Strengthen your muscles. Work on strengthening your tibialis posterior muscle and stretching your Achilles tendon. These two muscles are instrumental in affecting your arch pain and any pronation you might experience.
Wear comfortable and supportive shoes with insoles that fully support the arch. Depending on your lifestyle, your shoes and insoles need to support both your everyday activities (like work) and more intense activities (such as running, jogging, or sports).
Wear night splints. Night splints help alleviate pressure on your arches by keeping your muscles properly positioned and strengthened while you sleep.
Use cold therapy. Massagers, wraps, and other forms of cold therapy help alleviate arch pain and discomfort.