Persistent pain in the arch of your foot is usually the result of a condition known as plantar fasciitis. It's inflammation and tension in the plantar fascia. If you're not familiar, the plantar fascia is a strip of tissue that is connected between your heel and the ball of your foot, along the arch. If you're struggling with pain in that area, there are a few things you can try to relieve it before you visit a podiatrist or other foot specialist.
Get Up On Your Toes
Walking on your toes can help to stretch the plantar fascia and ease discomfort. Do it barefoot to get the maximum benefit. Stand up with your back straight and then raise your body up so that you are standing on your toes and the balls of your feet. Stay in place for a couple of seconds to be sure that you have your balance.
Take a few steps forward, making the steps small so you don't strain your foot or your calves. Keep your back straight and continue walking on your toes for several seconds. Then, lower back onto your feet and rest. Do this eight times, and try to repeat the set of eight twice a day. As you do it more, extend the amount of time you spend walking on your toes until you can circle the entire room each time.
Roll It Out
Rolling your arch can also help to stretch the plantar fascia. One of the best ways to do this is using a small ball like a tennis ball or a full soda or soup can. Place it on the floor. Then roll your foot back and forth over it slowly. Do this for a few minutes per foot, and try to repeat it a few times a day.
Lean Into It
A leaning stretch will help you to improve the mobility in the affected foot as well as the ankle. Kneel on the floor so that you are on one knee with the other foot still flat on the floor. Lean backward so that the knee that's on the floor lifts off the ground. The goal is to lean back far enough that you almost sit back on your heel. You'll feel the stretch in the plantar fascia as you do this. Hold it for several seconds before relaxing. Repeat this about ten times per foot.
If exercises like these don't resolve your problem, you should talk with a foot and ankle pain specialist to see if there may be more going on. He or she can teach you how to tape the plantar fascia to add support, which may ease your pain as well.