There are three very likely causes of  burning pain in the arch of one’s foot.

“If the burning pain in the arch is toward the heel area on the plantar surface (underside) of the foot, a likely cause is a heel spur or plantar fasciitis,” says Bob Thompson, certified pedorthist, executive director, Institute for Preventive Foot Health.

A pedorthist is a medical professional who specializes in designing footwear and devices to alleviate foot pain.

“Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, the dense band of fibrous tissue that functions as the main support for the arch of the foot,” continues Thompson.

Causes of plantar fasciitis, says Thompson, are:

  • Sudden increase in exercise intensity
  • Overuse/overtraining
  • Faulty biomechanics (e.g., walking on one’s heels, gait abnormality from flat feet or high arch)
  • Poorly designed footwear
  • Standing for too long
  • Overweight

Second possible cause of burning pain in the arch:

This would be posterior tibial tendonitis.  “Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon,” says Thompson.

“The posterior tibial tendon runs through the area on the medial (inside) area of the ankle and into the arch area.

“This type of tendonitis can occur due to injuries related to falls and athletic activities that put stress on the posterior tibial tendon (as basketball, soccer and tennis).

“Other causes include overuse, degeneration from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes or hypertension and obesity.”

Third possible cause of burning pain in the arch of the foot:

That’s a strained muscle. “The flexor digitorum longus muscle runs along the medial side of the foot in the arch area; and a strain in this muscle can produce burning pain in the arch area,” says Thompson.

“As in other conditions, strains can occur due to overuse and vigorous activities that include running, jumping and throwing, especially if the participant is not well-conditioned for those activities.

“Other causes include fatigue and insufficient or improper warmup before vigorous physical activities.”

bob thompsonRobert Thompson is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of preventive foot health and soft tissue injury prevention.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


Top image: Shutterstock/Denis Val