Arch Problems

Arch Problems

Flat feet: Non-surgical approaches are always preferable, and include:

  • Pain medications and anti-inflammatory pills (aspirin, ibuprofen)
  • Taping the foot
  • Shoes t0hat fit well with low heels and arch support
  • Calf stretches
  • Massage and warm-water foot baths
  • Icing the arch
  • Over-the-counter or custom-made orthotic insoles.

Surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon or reshape the foot is rarely done in older people, and then only in very severe cases.

Overly high arches: Depending on how severe the deformity and pain, your podiatrist or other healthcare professional will prescribe non-surgical treatments similar to those for flat feet, exercise, or surgery. 

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
Non-drug approaches include special shoes and custom-made insoles (orthotics). Sometimes, cortisone shots help. If your doctor finds a cyst or tumor, surgical removal can cure the problem. If no cause has been found, surgery is less beneficial, and is only done if the problem has persisted for at least a year with no relief. Recovery takes several months.

Achilles Tendonitis
Various different approaches are used to treat Achilles tendonitis but scientists are still uncertain which work best.

Exercise: Keep the leg elevated as much as possible while there is swelling in the calf or heel. When swelling is gone, you may try gentle calf stretches but stop if the pain increases.

Medications: NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen) often lessen the pain and swelling. Cortisone injections may also help, but are not used often because of the risk of tendon damage.

Non-drug approaches: Icing the area up to five times per day for about half an hour may bring some relief, but be careful not to overdo it. If the tendon ruptures, you will probably need a cast over the calf and foot.

Surgery: A surgical approach for a ruptured Achilles tendon is sometimes done, but for older patients, surgery is not usually recommended. 

Morton’s Neuroma
The following approaches, alone or combined, may help:

  • Massage of the painful area
  • Wider shoes
  • Cushioning pads
  • Corticosteroid (cortisone) injections
  • Ultrasound-guided alcohol injections.

Surgery: If your symptoms have not improved with these treatments, surgery to remove the painful area is usually effective.