Treatments for plantar fasciitis, which Jonathan Cluett, M.D. describes as the most common cause of arch pain, include stretching exercises and anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, wearing special inserts in the shoes can ease plantar fasciitis pain.
For pain in the arch and heel, WebMD recommends giving the feet a rest by cutting back on activities like running and walking on hard surfaces. Choosing shoes with good arch support and wearing heel cup inserts is also recommended. Mayo Clinic notes that over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, can be used to reduce pain and swelling. Patients who don't experience relief following these treatments should visit their doctors, who may recommend treatments such as a steroid injection in the heel. Only in rare cases does plantar fasciitis require surgical intervention.
When arch pain does not respond to typical plantar fasciitis treatments, it may be caused by a more serious condition, such as tarsal tunnel syndrome or a stress fracture, states Jonathan Cluett, M.D. Tarsal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the tibial nerve becomes pinched, leading to pain. Stress fractures can occur due to repetitive, high-impact activities such as running. Patients should seek treatment for arch pain that does not respond to rest, painkillers and stretching, as they may have conditions that require more specialized treatment.