How does it affect having a pes cavus?

There are many deformities that can arise in the foot area, either for hereditary reasons, as a result of suffering from an illness or accident. Cavus foot is one of them. It is an abnormality that can be controlled by following some strict medical recommendations.

Surely you have heard about the importance of the plantar arch and its role in creating stability when walking, running or simply standing. This is because, in the arches of the foot, there are the well-known navicular, cuboid and cuneiform bones, responsible for creating a cushioning effect throughout the foot, with respect to the work of the hindfoot and forefoot muscles.

Knowing this, it is important to mention that the arch or the plantar vault is not always the same in all people, so an anomaly could be experienced, that is, the curvature of the foot does not exist and the sole is completely straight. This is called flat feet. On the contrary, the excess of height in said curvature causes pes cavus; while if there is deviation of the ankle it is called pes cavo valgus.

Under this scenario, we forget the important fact that, although walking is an act that the human being performs from an early age, not all individuals perform it correctly. Most of the population does not step properly, which causes small-scale deformities and pain in the arch of the foot.

As this “bad walking” is an unconscious act, the person will end up exposing the back of the foot to constant pressure that, over the years, will weaken the system of tendons and fibrous tissue that runs from the heel to the toes, that is,, the plantar fascia.

Pes cavus: Symptoms, causes and solution

Pes cavus is due to a malformation in the bones of the foot, in which the arch is more pronounced than normal. However, this is not the only indicator of said pathology. Next, we comment on some signs that usually accompany pes cavus, the causes of the pathology and how to solve it.


Appearance of callus

People who suffer from pes cavus have a smaller contact surface in the area of ​​the sole with respect to the ground, due to the elevation of the arch. This situation intensifies the pressure on the foot as it supports the load of the body, which leads the skin in that area to activate its defense mechanisms and thicken with the appearance of plantar hellomas, commonly known as calluses. Likewise, hyperkeratosis could appear on the foot, which is an accumulation of keratin in a certain area, with the purpose of reinforcing the skin.

Pain in some parts of the foot

Let’s start with the ailment in the plantar area, which is made up of a series of tissues that range from the calcaneus to the metatarsal, that is, from the heel to below the toes. This is a large area in which there will be constant ailments, because the intense and focused pressure causes inflammation and micro-tears in the ligaments.

On the other hand, there is pain in the instep of the foot, caused by the deformation of the bones of the fingers due to muscle contraction. Likewise, the pain in the arch of the foot and the front area stands out, as a consequence of the excess load.

Lack of stability when stepping

Once again, the excess of curvature in the bridge of the feet is responsible for having a small support surface on the sole that, when stepping, does not generate the adequate level of stability.

In this sense, the person’s foot does not get the necessary support in the external area, so the weight is oriented towards the sides due to instability. This is another of the symptoms experienced by those who suffer from pes cavus.


Based on what has been exposed so far, it can be concluded that pes cavus is a pathology that is usually born with the person, due to an inherited abnormality. Likewise, this disorder can be caused by disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal type, whose appearance originates as a consequence of a disease or in an isolated manner.

For example, among the causative pathologies we can mention burns, polio and cerebral palsy. In addition, there is muscular hypertonia, which is when the connection between the spinal cord and the brain is affected, causing the muscles to contract.


Pes cavus cannot be cured by medication. However, it is possible to stop its development to prevent the symptoms from becoming more pronounced over the years.

Due to the fact that pes cavus is characterized by a lack of stability, a fairly accurate measure to take into consideration is the selection of special footwear. 

In this sense, there are shoes for high arched feet, which incorporate a pronounced bridge on the inner sole, with the purpose that the foot engages in said area and obtains both the support and the necessary rest to avoid the negative effects of excess pressure. Pressure. 

In addition, those who wear running shoes and have high arches, can add a custom-made insole to them, which will be able to meet the specific needs of the individual by minimizing the symptoms of the pathology, leaving in the past the myths about the secondary effects of orthopedic insoles.

On the other hand, it is convenient to combat the rigidity produced by high arches at a muscular level. For this, it is recommended to give mobility to all parts of the foot, through a daily routine of stretching the back of the body, covering the lumbar area, the buttocks, the femoral muscle and the calf muscles.

The ideal is to consult a specialist so that the patient can perform a biomechanical study aimed at the footprint. In this way, it will determine the magnitude of the pathology, according to the pressure generated by the footprint on the surface under observation.

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