Foot arch pain that doesn’t point to Plantar Fasciitis

Woman Wearing Orthotics to Treat Foot Pain That's Not Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain is debilitating, so it’s no wonder that so many people want answers quickly. However, if you rely on internet searches, you will probably assume that your pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. However, just because there are a lot of articles on the condition doesn’t mean that’s what’s hurting you.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes terrible irritation, inflammation, and stabbing pain in the foot. It can affect the arch, heel, or both. But it’s not the only condition

While plantar fasciitis is common, other conditions can mimic this condition with the same symptoms. Overuse, bone spurs, and other issues can lead to pain in the foot arch, or heel. Unfortunately, people often self-diagnose with plantar fasciitis instead of getting the help they need. Without a real diagnosis and correct treatment, the problem can get worse.

Explore common conditions that cause foot arch pain but are not Plantar Fasciitis below. For professional diagnosis and treatment, contact the doctors at Arizona Foot Doctors in Scottsdale.

Cavus foot vs plantar faciitis

In some, heel pain may be the result of cavus foot. Cavus foot describes feet that have a very high arch, and, as a result, an uneven or incorrect distribution of weight occurs. Cavus foot is typically an inherited physical irregularity, but it can occur as a result of a neurological problem like a stroke or cerebral palsy. People who have cavus foot feel foot pain when standing or walking. They may also suffer from calluses, hammertoes, and or claw toes.

Cavus foot can lead to a range of other manifestations, such as frequently sprained ankles, increased pain in the shins and calves, and a higher chance of a stress fracture in the foot. While an individual with cavus foot may experience foot arch pain, it does not necessarily mean they are also experiencing plantar fasciitis. However, the two often go hand in hand. If you are experiencing cavus foot, work with a podiatrist who can determine a treatment that targets both conditions. Treatment for both conditions includes supportive footwear (custom foot orthotics are recommended), calf stretches, and physical therapy. If a neurological condition causes cavus foot, the treatment varies depending upon which neurological condition. When getting your annual healthy foot check-up with one of our podiatrists at Arizona Foot Doctors, treatment and support options can be discussed.


If you’re experiencing foot arch pain, heel pain, or ankle pain, talk to your doctor about gait. If, when taking a step, your heel hits the ground first, and then you feel pressure inward on your arch, it could be because you’re overpronating and therefore over-flattening your foot. If this isn’t as noticeable, look at the bottom of your most worn shoes. On the sole, if there are more wear and tear on the arch’s heel and inner area, this may be a sign that you overpronate when you step.

In some cases, overpronation can cause pain in your knees, hips, or back due to improper gait. Eventually, overpronation can damage muscles, ligaments, and tendons and lead to Plantar Fasciitis if left unsupported. If you or a loved one are experiencing discomfort such as foot pain or arch pain, reach out to your podiatrist. A podiatrist may recommend stretches, physical therapy exercises, or orthotics to help patients correct overpronation.

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Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

A condition known as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD), also known as adult-acquired flatfoot, can sometimes arise due to past traumas of the foot or ankle, past surgeries of the foot or ankle, or hypertension. These injuries can cause
inflammation to the posterior tibial tendon, which is responsible for the connection between the calf muscle and the inner foot. Prolonged inflammation and degeneration will weaken the tendon, meaning the tendon can no longer support the foot’s inner arch. You may experience this foot arch pain that is not Plantar Fasciitis but may seem like it at first.

Someone with PTTD may experience pain and swelling in the arch of the foot, weakness in their foot, and may not be able to perform a heel raise. There are a variety of treatment options depending on the progression of PTTD. A podiatrist can collaborate with you and your lifestyle in mind to treat and manage your PTTD symptoms.

The importance of a professional diagnosis

If you are suffering from pain in the heel or arch of your foot, or have questions about your foot health, it is important to visit a podiatrist for a professional examination and diagnosis. The treatment options for different foot conditions vary, and they can range from noninvasive to invasive. A podiatrist may also use various diagnostic methods that also vary from noninvasive to invasive.

Our team at Arizona Foot Doctors are dedicated to getting you back on your feet. We understand that not every patient needs the same treatment, because every individual is unique. Schedule your appointment online or by calling us at (480) 661-7572.