Towering Too High – Painful Children’s Arches

Children's shoes can affect cavus footA favorite game for young children is tower-building with blocks. They stack the wooden or plastic bricks higher and higher until the tower gets a little too tall and the stack can’t support the weight of any more blocks. After that, of course, the tower usually comes tumbling down. The higher something is, the more support it needs to handle weight. This is true for full-sized buildings and architecture as well. It even makes a difference for your little one’s feet, which is why high arches in children can be so problematic.

High arches, also called cavus foot in some cases, are simply a midfoot that’s higher than normal. The arch of the foot is important for supporting weight and absorbing shock. An excessively high arch doesn’t distribute pressure evenly. Instead, it directs most of the weight to the heel and the ball of the foot. Eventually this can lead to painful problems for your son or daughter.

The excessive pressure on the ball of the foot can contribute to issues like metatarsalgia. It also stresses the little tendons in foot, potentially leading to hammertoes or claw toes. The weight make calluses far more likely as well. Eventually the soreness can make normal standing or walking around very uncomfortable for your child. Because high arches are unstable, your child might be more susceptible to ankle sprains, too.

On top of this, it can be very challenging to find shoes that fit high arches in children. Most styles don’t have high enough uppers. The footwear then squeezes or pinches the top of your child’s feet, causing discomfort.

The most concerning aspect about high arches in your son or daughter is that they might be connected to a neuromuscular disorder. A higher-than-normal arch can be a natural foot structure that doesn’t change over time—which is harmless. Sometimes, however, it’s actually a side effect of nerve injuries, polio, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or a few other neurological problems. That’s why experts like our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. examines high arches carefully. Call (303) 805-5156 to have your son or daughter’s midfoot evaluated at our Parker or Castle Pines offices. You can also submit a request through our website.

Photo Credit: jbdeboer via

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