I have pain in the soles of my feet every morning which might be from fallen arches -what can help ?

Each morning I have discomfort in the soles of my feet and the first few minutes of walking about are really painful .... I used to dance a lot so wonder whether this could be fallen arches. I did also used to wear heels a lot, but live in flats now, so my high arches are having to get used to different pressure points. The discomfort does ease, but does anyone have any suggestions of what could help?
Asked by madeleiner

13 answers

Top answer
The pain could be coming from the plantar fascia of the foot becoming tight and inflamed, especially with a history of dancing. It does also depend on what type of dancing you have been doing. Ballet can really use the foot mechanics to its full and may have caused it to become irritated. Depending on your age and how active you were in dancing it could also be due to wear and tear of the joints in the foot (early osteoarthritis).
Osteopathy could really help you, I have treated many cases of plantar fasciitis with osteopathy and acupuncture but also addressing foot mechanics and recommending orthotics to help you.
If you are able to tolerate it, using an empty wine bottle, jam jar or tennis ball and rolling it under the sole of the foot for a few mins 3-5 times a day can help loosen it up. You should aim for the ball of the foot and the heel as well as the middle region. This should be done sitting down and with comfortable pressure, not your whole body weight. Only do this if there is a comfortable level of pain or discomfort, no tears!!!


Hiya.... I've suffered from it myself lately and here's my list of "stuff to do". It echoes a lot of what's been said already, which is a good think for you!
1. Stretching the achilles and soleus (you need to have a look at the really effective stretches for these areas) and you need to really hold your stretches and stretch often.
2. Do you have wooden floors at home? If so, try putting slippers or something on when you're walking around the house. It really makes a difference.
3. Rubbing the soles out with oil/cream and, this isn't nice but it works, rolling the foot over a hard pole or some kind of frozen water bottle (as this also helps reduce inflammation).
4. Looking beyond the above treatments.... A. you may well need to consider orthotics which a podiatrist will help with (and doesn't have to cost the earth). B. You also need to consider your core stability. A strong core area (glut med and transverse abs) really really really does make a difference on the pressure put on your feet and your arches.
Hope that helps!
Search Treatwell for Foot Massage near you
Please see the link to NHS guidelines and video.
Are you still dancing? Have you had any foot injuries or the symptoms before? Flats may not be providing you with enough support. Change foot wear as appropitae if symptoms continue seek advice from Podiatrist or Physio .
It sounds like you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. Physiotherapy can help with this.
Hello Madeleiner,
I think you have already been offered some really useful adivce, especially the last comments. However, it is very difficult to assess the problem without a physical examination. I feel many GP's do not have the necessary sports science knowledge to understand how activity can impact on the body, therefore you need a specialist to offer you further guidance and you should ask your GP to signpost you appropriately. You do not state whether or not during your dancing career you have danced on blocks, if so what type of protection you have used. For example the new Hi density cushioned overlay or old fashioned animal wool and surgical spirit. It is difficult to assess what shape your arches were in prior to dancing. Other factors such as congenital conditions or genetics may play their part in this. It would be advisable for you to look at the shoes you wear each day. Do they offer support and are they a sutiable shape for your feet? Wearing appropriate footwear dependant on your activity is essential. Many Universities, which have a podiatry department will have students who would love you as a patient. You could access a bio-mechanical assessment and gait analysis, which would help to diagnose what the issue is and how best to treat it. In the meantime try some reflexology with a good therapist and try some exercises to see if working your pressure points helps. Good luck with eveything.
Elizabeth Farrow BSc
I have plantar fasciitis for a few months now. It is a nagging heel pain but if you do the right things you can manage it and get rid of it in the end. I say that you should first of all get a professional diagnosis and then move on.
If you want to know more about this disorder you can visit this good website: http://www.plantar-fasciitis-elrofeet.com
Eat more fruit and veg, if you don't normally have your five a day then start now if this is not the case and then double your intake
Hi. It would help greatly if you wore covered in shoes and put in insoles designed to give the problem area a lift. These can be obtained from places such as Boots and are not too expensive They help keep the body in alignment and take the strain away. Also, give your feet gentle rotational exercise to bring circulation to life. Hope this helps.
Hi. It would help greatly if you wore covered in shoes and put in insoles designed to give the problem area a lift. These can be obtained from places such as Boots and are not too expensive They help keep the body in alignment and take the strain away. Also, give your feet gentle rotational exercise to bring circulation to life. Hope this helps.
I have to agree with the other diagnosis of plantar fascitis. A flat foot may mean that the fascia of the foot remains floppy. When we create an arch our foot becomes rigid and so does the plantar fascia. This enables it to become an effective propelling unit. The advice of stretching the plantar fascia may not be a great idea as it is already stretched and needs to shorten to avoid being irritated. We do this by creating an arch in foot at the appropriate time. An appropriate orthosis will reduce the flattening of the foot and may address other foot dysfunctions that maybe occurring. Having the mechanics of your feet looked at both statically and during motion would be highly recommended to find out if the foot can become both floppy for force attenuation and rigid for propulsion during the gait cycle.
Hi there, I agree with what said previously, there could be a number of reasons for you pain.
But you said you are wearing flats now. You might need some shoes that support the arch of your foot especially if are walking or standing quite a bit. Now the fashion is to wear really flat pumps or even slippers as outwear, but they don't offer the correct support for your feet if are wearing them for long period of time.
Also, pilates has few good stretches and exercises for feet. It helped ease the pain and inflammation I had in one joint of a foot.
Last, but not least, tennisball foot massage. It is a simple but effective way to massage you fascia. But don't do it if it's too painful!
If that does not help seek more professional advice, either an osthoepath,or a Gp
To be honest there could be a number of things causing the pain. As you only experience this in the soles of the feet for the first few minutes of walking I would guess it is Plantar Fascitis.
While you are sleeping the fibrous band that stretches between the heel and the base of the toes becomes tighter. When you take your first few steps in the morning the band begins to stretch and this can cause quite a lot of initial pain (especially in the heel) that tends to ease off after 30 minutes or so. The pain can be felt in the heel and under the arch of the foot. High arches can exacerbate the problem. Stretching and strengthening exercises will help along with foot massage on a regular basis and wearing the correct footwear.
If the pain is mainly across the ball of the foot it may be a Neuroma and this can be helped by using the correct footwear or if it becomes very painful, with injections.
As there are quite a number of foot related conditions I would suggest having it checked out by your Doctor initially who should refer you to a specialist. This will ensure you receive the correct advice and treatment.
Hope this helps and good luck!
MMC Holistic Therapies
You may need to do some GENTLE stretching of your achilles each day to get them acclimatised. Foot massage would help idscomfort
, but it may be worth you visiting a podiatrist to maybe see whether orthotics would help - no my area of expertise, although I do wear them myself and they have helped enormously - but they MUST be correctly fitted.