reference presentation true The Foot and Ankle Knowledgebase, L.L.C., L.L.C., L.L.C. 2000 en-US Arch Pain | Causes and treatment options how to heal arch pain,arch support insoles,arch support,foot arch support insert,how to treat arch pain,sore arch of foot,arch pain relief,foot arch pain,arch pain,midfoot pain,painful arch,sore arch,sore foot arch, Learn about the symptoms and treatment options for arch pain - part of the Foot and Ankle Knowledge Base.

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The arch of the foot is a complex weight-bearing structure that accepts and transfers load, can adapt to uneven terrain and provide shock absorption. Many different injuries and conditions can cause arch pain. This article serves as a guide to the conditions described in the Foot and Ankel Knowledge Base.


Symptoms can vary with each injury or condition. This article is a guide to conditions found on this site.


The arch of the foot consists of multiple bones called tarsal and metatarsal bones. Tarsal bones are strong load-bearing bones that interlock like a jigsaw puzzle, connected by dense ligaments and surrounding tendons. Motion in the arch takes place in a series of joints called the midtarsal joints. 

The following is a list of common arch conditions. Click on each highlighted link for more information.

  • Arthritis of the arch. A diffuse enlargement of the top of the foot in the elderly signals diffuse osteoarthritis of the arch.

  • CT Band Syndrome. The way the calf delivers load to the arch can affect arch pain significantly.

  • Cuboid syndrome. The humble cuboid bears significant load and can cause lateral foot pain when overused.

  • Flatfeet. Arch pain often is associated with flatfeet, a condition caused by many factors.

  • Gout. Although more common in the forefoot, gout should be considered in the differential diagnosis of arch pain.

  • Peroneal tendonitis. Characterized by sharp pain on the lateral foot at the onset of activity.

  • Posterior tibial tendonitis. Patients often describe achy pain in the medial arch.

  • Stress fracture. Midtarsal and metatarsal stress fractures often are the cause of nonspecific arch pain.

  • Tarsal coalition. Stiffening of the arch with the onset of symptoms in the late second decade or early third decade of life.

  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome. An entrapment of the posterior tibial nerve with pain that radiates into the arch.

When to Call Your Doctor

Arch pain that does not respond to a reasonable period of conservative care should be evaluated by your podiatrist or orthopedist.

Author(s) and date

Dr. Jeffrey OsterThis article was written by medical director Jeffrey A. Oster, DPM

Competing Interests - None

Peer Reviewed - This article is peer reviewed by an open source editorial board.  Your comments and suggestions to improve this paper are appreciated.

Cite this article as - Oster, Jeffrey.  Arch Pain.

Most recent article update - December 28, 2015.

Creative Commons License  Arch Pain by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.