You have probably heard of Flat Feet (Latin name: Pes Planus), but what about its counter? If you have unusually high arches in your feet, or Pes Cavus (Latin name), you may be experiencing pain in the metatarsal heads (the place where the bones in your foot (metatarsals) meet the bones that make up your toes (phalanges)), hammertoes, instability of the foot region, pain while walking or standing, sesamoid pain, frequent lateral ankle sprains, or overall foot pain. Pes Cavus, or over-supination, is less common than Pes Planus, and is characterized by an arch that does not fall flat upon bearing weight. Pes Cavus is usually the result of a fixed plantar flexion of the foot. What the heck does that mean? Well, Plantar Flexion is the movement of the ankle when pointing the toes away from the shin, like pushing the gas pedal in a care for instance. Many things can cause the muscles of the foot to get “stuck” in this fixed plantar flexion, but the medical community has agreed that the following three causes are most likely:
1.) A Neuromuscular Condition, in which the nerves and muscles that cause the hollowing out of the foot become affected. For example, Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease.
2.) Congenital, in which the causes are derived genetically, such as club foot.
3.) Trauma, such as a fracture or a burn.
So what can you do about it? Upon diagnosis of Pes Cavus,
there a few non-surgical treatments that will treat symptoms. Physical therapy
will help to stretch out the tightened muscles, as well as the use of custom orthotic
inserts or shoes. Custom orthotics will help to increase the surface area of
the bottom of your foot, which will in turn help to take impact pressure off
the metatarsal heads, and back to the arch (where it belongs). If you have
questions about Pes Cavus, give us a call at Vancouver Orthotics, and Dr.
Michael will happily answer questions!
Note from Dr. Michael: Hi everyone! 95% of the patients we
see have flat feet (pes planus). If you are one of the special 5% people with
high arches (pes cavus), that makes your feet unique! Unfortunately having high
(supinated) arches may come with a very stiff foot that can lead to Achilles tendon
pain, knee pain and low back pain. If you are unsure if you have flat feet or
high arches, consider visiting our office for a proper examination. We will answer
this question for you and come up with a game plan for treating your supinated,
high pes cavus feet.
Dr. Michael Horowitz