Pes cavus

Pes cavus

| Pes cavus
What is Pes Cavus ?

Pes cavus, also known as high arches, is a foot deformity in which the arch of the foot is higher than normal. This condition can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired due to certain neurological or musculoskeletal disorders.

People with pes cavus may experience symptoms such as pain, instability, difficulty walking or running, and an increased risk of ankle sprains. They may also have difficulty finding comfortable shoes, as their high arches can make it difficult for shoes to fit properly.


There are several possible causes of pes cavus or high arches, including:

  1. Inherited or genetic factors: Pes cavus can be inherited, which means it runs in families.
  2. Neurological disorders: Certain neurological conditions, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, spinal cord tumors, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy, can cause pes cavus.
  3. Musculoskeletal disorders: Certain musculoskeletal conditions, such as clubfoot, polio, and spina bifida, can also cause pes cavus.
  4. Trauma: A foot injury or trauma can cause the arch of the foot to become elevated.
  5. Idiopathic: In some cases, there may be no clear cause for pes cavus.

Treatment for pes cavus typically depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. The primary goals of treatment are to relieve pain, improve stability and balance, and prevent the development of further foot problems.

Here are some common treatment options:

  1. Orthotic devices: Custom-made orthotic devices such as arch supports or insoles can help support the foot and distribute weight more evenly.
  2. Braces or splints: Some people may benefit from wearing a brace or splint to help keep their foot in a more neutral position.
  3. Physical therapy: Stretching exercises and other forms of physical therapy can help improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
  4. Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the foot deformity.
  5. Footwear modifications: Choosing shoes with good arch support and a wide toe box can help relieve pain and improve stability.

The role of physiotherapy in pes cavus may include:

  1. Assessment: A physiotherapist can assess the patient's foot structure, range of motion, strength, and balance to identify any impairments or limitations that may be contributing to their symptoms.
  2. Exercise prescription: A physiotherapist can prescribe exercises to improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles in the foot, ankle, and lower leg. These exercises may include stretches, range of motion exercises, and resistance training.
  3. Gait analysis: A physiotherapist can analyze the patient's gait (walking pattern) to identify any abnormalities or compensations that may be contributing to their symptoms. They may recommend modifications to the patient's footwear or orthotics to improve their gait and reduce pain.
  4. Balance training: Patients with pes cavus may have difficulty with balance and stability, which can increase their risk of falls. A physiotherapist can prescribe exercises to improve the patient's balance and coordination, such as standing on one leg or using a balance board.
  5. Pain management: Physiotherapists can use a variety of techniques to manage the patient's pain, including manual therapy, massage, and electrotherapy.
  6. Education: Physiotherapists can educate patients about their condition and provide advice on self-management strategies, such as using ice or heat therapy, managing their activity levels, and avoiding aggravating activities.
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