High Arched Feet: Causes and Diagnosis

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High Arched Feet: Causes and Diagnosis

Approximately 20% of the population have high arched feet. This high arch puts increased stress on the structures of your feet. High arches do not always cause problems, but for some people they can cause pain and irritation, impact movement and mobility, and lead to a variety of podiatric conditions. When you have high arches, you may have trouble finding the right footwear and you are more vulnerable to injury. Let’s explore what causes high arched feet and how your podiatrist will diagnose and treat them.

You can tell if you have high arched feet by dampening your bare feet 
and standing on a piece of construction paper. 
If, when you view the footprint left behind, 
you only see the imprint of your toes and your heel, you likely have high arched feet.

What Causes High Arched Feet?

You can be born with high arched feet, also called pes cavus, or they can develop over time due to an underlying neurological condition. Some of the conditions that can alter the arches of your feet include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Poli
  • Spinal cord injuries and spinal tumors
  • Stroke
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (a group of conditions that affect your peripheral nerves)

When high arched feet are caused by a neurological disorder, they are likely to become progressively worse over time without intervention.


How Does A Podiatrist Diagnose High Arched Feet?

Initially, a simple visual examination of the foot will indicate high arches. But to determine the severity and cause, further assessment is needed. Your foot doctor will examine the structures of your foot and look for other indications of high arched feet including:

Your podiatrist will also review your family history and assess the muscle strength in your foot and ankle, coordination, posture, and gait (the way you walk). In order to determine if your high arched feet are caused by a neurological condition, your doctor may requisition additional diagnostics including:

  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • X-rays
  • EMG (Electromyography)
  • Nerve Conduction assessment

Your customized treatment strategy for high arched feet is determined by the severity and cause. 

To learn more about the podiatry conditions associated with high arched feet and your options for non-invasive and surgical treatment, read The Problem With High Arched Feet.

Advanced High Arched Feet Treatment In NYC

Your arches play an important role in the function of your feet. Foot arches distribute your body weight over the weight-bearing structures of the feet. They act as springs propelling you forward when you are walking and running and shock absorbers when jumping. High arched feet can impact your gait and stride, making you more susceptible to certain injuries and podiatry conditions. If your high arched feet are causing pain or limiting your mobility, there are highly effective treatment options available (surgical and non-invasive).

The team of foot doctors at To Healthy Feet in Manhattan can expertly assess your feet to determine if you have high arches, and develop a personalized treatment strategy based on the severity of your symptoms, your lifestyle, and your goals for treatment. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care and have the tools and technologies necessary to provide a variety of tailored treatment approaches including regenerative medicine, prescription medications, and even minimally invasive surgery (when needed) at each of our Manhattan Podiatry Clinics. 

If you are experiencing pain due to high arched feet or any other foot or ankle condition pain,
call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 1-917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form 
to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street locations today.



Q: How can I prevent high arches?
A: While it may not be possible to prevent high arches, you can definitely help prevent any pain that may result from high arched feet. Contact your podiatrist about your options for treatment including custom orthotics and callus therapy.

Q: I have high arched feet. Do I need treatment?
A: Even if you are not experiencing pain, treatment for high arches can be preventative. Since high-arched feet don't absorb shock well, people with high arches tend to develop knee, hip, or back pain. Future pain and knee/hip issues can be prevented with custom orthotics.

Q: I’m not sure my feet are considered to be “high arched feet”. How can this be diagnosed?
A: A visit to the podiatrist can be helpful for proper diagnosis. Your doctor will take your medical history and ask about your symptoms. A thorough foot and gait examination is necessary. Stop by our offices at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street today for an assessment.

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