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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Pain from arch supports



I have both RA and OA in my feet. I went to a occupational therapist who gave me insoles with arch support in them. I had so much pain just having them in that she said just to wear them while sitting down and then gradualy work up to walking and longer time. That is what I was doing until I had to go to the bathroom and because I have bad hands too I can`t get them out of my shoes myself. So I got up and walked to the bathroom with them in. When I walked back to the living room my feet were in really bad pain and swollen. I could bearly walk for the pain so I put some ice on it for the swelling. Then tonight I tried to just wear them again just sitting down with them on. I can bearly walk again and I got pain, very tender and swollen feet. It is painful at the ball of my big toes, going up the inside of my feet and on both sides of my achilles tendons. That have increased my pain and swelling to about three times what it was in three days. Can arch supports cause more pain and should I try and use them despite all the torture that they are causing me?


You may indeed benefit from a shoe insert however they should never “hurt” and you may want to stop wearing them. Depending on your foot structure and any deformities you may or may not have certain types of shoe inserts may be more appropriate for you. I would recommend seeing a podiatrist or foot care specialist for an accurate assessment of your particular need.

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Response by:

Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM Jeffrey M Robbins, DPM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University