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Cavus (high-arched) feet: Pes Cavus





Some questions answered

What is a cavus foot?

The inner edge of the foot is raised off the floor in the middle to form the arch of the foot. The height of the arch varies from person to person. When it is higher than normal the shape of the foot is called "cavus".

When a person with a cavus foot stands, the middle of the foot seems to be raised higher off the ground than normal. The heel may be drawn in towards the inner side, and the toes may also be drawn inwards. Some people with cavus feet also have curled-up "claw" toes. Although the most obvious thing about a cavus foot is usually the high arch, this appearance is actually produced by other more basic deformities in the foot. In all cavus feet the front part of the foot is drawn downwards more than normal, and the part on the side of the big toe (first ray) is usually drawn down most of all. The result is to tip the arch upwards, and also to tip the foot onto its outer side. It is this combination that produces the appearance of a high arch and a large space under the foot.

In a few people with cavus feet who have weak calf muscles, the heel is also drawn down and this adds to the height of the arch. Other people, whose Achilles tendons become tight, have their heel drawn up. This tends to increase the pressure on the ankle and the ball of the foot. Other people's heels are neither drawn up or down. The heel of any cavus foot may also turn inwards because of the tilting of the rest of the foot. To start with, the heel tilting is flexible but with the passage of time the tissues and joints may become stiff and the heel tilt may become fixed.

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What causes a cavus foot?

In many people, we do not know the cause of their cavus foot. These people tend to have milder deformities and the foot appearance sometimes runs in the family.

Many medical conditions which cause weakness or lack of co-ordination of muscles can result in a cavus foot. Examples of such conditions include spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and conditions in which the small nerves in the legs do not work properly. It is thought that even when no definite medical condition can be found, cavus feet are probably due to very slight weakness of muscles in the legs and feet.

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I have high arches - should I be having tests for all these diseases?

This is an impossible question to answer in an information page such as this! If your arches appear to be getting higher, your feet are tilting over, your toes are curling up or your feet feel weak or numb, you should definitely consult your doctor. Otherwise it probably depends on how much trouble your feet are giving you.

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I have high arches - will my children have this too?

Possibly. Unless you know why you have high arches it is impossible to say how likely it is thst your children will have this too.

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What problems does pes cavus cause?

Many people with pes cavus have no problem at all. Sometimes it can be difficult to find shoes to fit, or the feet may ache, especially around the ankle, the outer edge of the foot or in the ball of the foot. Curled-up toes may rub on shoes.

Cavus feet tend to be stiffer than normal and may not take pressure as well as normal feet, so they may ache if you have been on your feet for a while. Some people with mild cavus feet don't notice them until they take up running or other sports, when the cavus may limit their exercise tolerance.

Some people complain that their ankles feel weak and they get ankle sprains easily. A few people who have reduced feeling in their feet as part of the condition that caused the cavus, find that their skin rubs raw in areas of high pressure. This is a strong reason to consult your doctor.

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I go over on my ankle a lot - is this a sign of pes cavus?

Not necessarily. Most people who go over on the ankle a lot originally damaged the ankle in an injury and this has never fully healed. However, if you have a high arch as well, this could be contributing to the problem. There is a page on this site which gives further information about ankle ligament problems, including advice about when to consult a doctor or physiotherapist.

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I have pain in the ball of my foot - is this caused by pes cavus?

Not necessarily. There are many causes of pain in the ball of the foot, or "metatarsalgia". Sometimes no definite cause can be found. However, if you have a high arch, especially if you have curled-up toes too, this could be contributing to the problem. There is a page on this site which gives further information about metatarsalgia, including advice about when to consult a doctor or chiropodist

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My small toes are curled up - is this a sign of pes cavus?

Not necessarily. There are many causes of deformity of the small toes. However, if you have a high arch, they could be related. There is a page on this site which gives further information about problems with the small toes, including advice about when to consult a doctor or chiropodist.

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Can I do anything about it myself?

You won't be able to do anything about the underlying cause, if there is one. Exercising and stretching your foot may help to minimise the stiffness.

The most important thing is to take care of your feet well. Make sure there is plenty room in your shoes, with no rubbing on your toes. If you walk a lot or play sport, make sure you have plenty of shock-absorbing material in your shoes, as cavus feet are often a bit stiff and absorb shock poorly. If you don't have normal feeling in your feet, check them every day for raw, discoloured or broken areas of skin. A pad or insole in your shoe may help relieve aching in the arch of your foot.

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When should I take professional advice?

If your feet seem to be getting more deformed or troublesome in any of the ways outlined it is best to speak to your GP. Any child with cavus feet should be seen by a doctor.

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How will my doctor know what's wrong?

Your doctor will listen to your complaints about your cavus feet and examine you. Usually you will need a complete examination the first time you see your doctor, to see whether you have any medical condition that might cause cavus feet.

Your doctor may want you to see a specialist to discuss whether you should have any more tests. This may be a neurologist (a specialist in diseases of the nervous system) or an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon. If tests are felt necessary, you may have blood tests, Xrays of your feet or spine, scans of your spine or head or electrical tests to see if your nerves are working. Sometimes these tests come up with a definite medical condition, but sometimes they do not.

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What can be done about pes cavus?

The most important thing is basic foot care as outlined above (Can I do anything about it myself?). If you have difficulty getting shoes to fit, your GP or specialist can arrange for an orthotist to get you shoes with a bit more room. These usually look like ordinary shoes, just a bit bigger. The orthotist may also be able to help with insoles to relieve aching or to spread weight away from raw skin or calluses. If your foot tilts over a lot, especially if your heel tilts too, a splint, brace or caliper may make it more stable for walking.

If your ankle gives way a lot, it may be worth going through a course of exercises with a physiotherapist - it depends on how weak your muscles are to start with. Other things which help with a weak ankle include wearing a brace or splint or putting an extra bit on to your shoes to spread your weight out over a larger area of heel.

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Will I need an operation?

Most people with cavus feet do not need operations. However, if your cavus feet cause a lot of pain, rub badly on your shoes so that the skin breaks down, or your foot or ankle are very unstable, and simple treatment has not helped, it may be worth considering an operation to straighten your foot. Your GP can refer you to an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon to advise you about surgery.

The surgeon will listen to your problems, examine you carefully and analyse the exact nature of your deformity and the problems it causes. Surgery for cavus foot is often quite major, especially if the deformity is severe or very stiff.  

Possible operations include:

  • straightening your toes to stop them rubbing on your shoes and to take the pressure off the ball of your foot
  • breaking and re-shaping one or more bones in the front, middle or heel of your foot to straighten the deformity
  • re-shaping and stiffening one or more joints, usually in the middle or heel of your foot, to straighten the deformity and make your foot more stable
  • moving one or more of the tendons of your foot to another part of the foot to give more strength to a weak area
  • tightening the ligament of your ankle or strengthening it with another bit of tissue to stop your ankle going over

You might need more than one option from this list, and it may not be possible to do it all at once. Your surgeon will discuss the options fully with you, including the chances of success and failure, to help you make up your mind about what you want to do.

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Best CBD Oil UK: The 9 top CBD brands in the UK (2020)

CBD products are making a lot of noise in the market, and it makes complete sense judging by the slew of health benefits that they bring. We’ve gathered the best CBD oils currently available in the UK market to help you narrow down your search.

What is CBD?

CBD or Cannabidiol is a chemical compound extracted from the cannabis plant. We know what you’re thinking. How is this any different from marijuana? The answer is in their THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content. Weed contains a lot of THC, which is a psychoactive compound that gives the user mind-altering effects. CBD, on the other hand, cannot get you “high.” CBD is widely used for its pain relieving properties. It can be used to minimize the symptoms of conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, diabetes, cancers, among others. 

Whether you have crippling anxiety or you have been dealing with chronic pain for a long time, CBD oil can offer you some relief. With plenty of scientific research emerging to back up anecdotal claims, the UK CBD market shows no signs of slowing down. CBD is 100% legal in the UK as long as its sold as a food supplement and contains less than 0.2% THC content.

If you’re ready to jump on this very promising train, take a look at the best CBD oils in the UK that we’ve tried and recommend. 

The UK's 9 Best CBD Brands (2020 Updated)

1. Blessed CBD

If you don’t want to muck around, the first CBD oil you should try should be the UK’s number one CBD oil brand. Blessed CBD is a family-run operation in the UK. It’s their goal to provide their customers with the very best CBD products, and it’s safe to say that they have been succeeding in the United Kingdom.

Their hemp extracts come in a 10ml bottle and in full-spectrum form, meaning they’re rich in all cannabinoids (CBD, CBDA, CBG, etc) and terpenes. Unlike broad-spectrum oils, full-spectrum CBD oils are extremely effective in relieving pain and inflammation (due to the entourage effect). It’s also worth noting that the hemp plants used in their products are 100% vegan and organically grown. 

cbd oil

What we love about Blessed CBD is their commitment to educating the UK public about CBD. They cater specifically to the UK market, as their products are not available elsewhere else. All their products come with an informational booklet to get you started and customer reviews are majorly positive.

They were also voted the #1 CBD oil UK by leading publications, such as Mirror, Observer, HerbMighty, Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Birmingham Mail, LA Weekly, Readers Digest, Glasgow Live, Improb and Luxury Lifestyle Mag.

Plus, each batch of oil they produce comes with its own certificate and third party lab reports, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body and the amount of CBD in each product. 

If you're looking to truly experience the benefits of CBD, give Blessed CBD a try.

For more information, visit

2. Bud & Tender CBD

Bud & Tender is a British company that’s relatively fresh in the market. However, they’re getting quite the praise because they produce some decent CBD oils. 

A premium CBD oil (with a premium price), it’s a bit more palatable than your average CBD tincture. It has a distinct floral note, which makes it easier to swallow. Using a CO2 extraction process/technique, all their oils are guaranteed to be of the purest quality. 

They only use non-GMO, organic hemp so you’ll know that what you’re getting is an all-natural remedy. If you want to find out more about their products, they’re very transparent about what’s in them. Comprehensive lab results are regularly published on their website. 

3. Jacob Hooy CBD

If you like to frequent Holland & Barrett on the high street, you might have come across this hemp CBD oil from Jacob Hooy. Because it’s so affordable, it’s a viable choice if you’re taking the first steps of your CBD journey. It’s not the most potent oil in the CBD industry, so it's important to have realistic expectations.

It’s also not the most palatable, but you can always wash it down with a generous drink of water. Overall, it’s a reliable starter CBD oil for those who don’t need higher potencies just yet. 

4. Hempura CBD

Hempura is an up-and-coming brand that offers a wide range of quality CBD oil products. Aside from oils, they have edibles, e-juices (for vaping devices/vape pens), and capsules. Even though it’s not full-spectrum, the oil contains a decent amount of cannabinoids. It’s by no means ineffective. 

They also use the CO2 extraction method, which is considered the most efficient and safest technique of getting CBD out of hemp plants. We also love Hempura’s packaging, which is important to some folks. 

Hempura is also part of the Cannabis Trades Association, which shows their commitment to creating high-quality products for their customers.

5. Endoca Raw CBD

Endoca Raw is the CBD oil of choice of those who want make more environmentally sound choices. Endoca Raw’s operations all happen in Northern Europe. It’s worth noting that they use supercritical CO2 extraction, which is the best way to isolate cannabinoids and flavonoids.

The growing process of the hemp crops used in their products all pass strict regulations. They’re non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, pesticide-free, herbicide-free, and 100% natural. 

Their range of products include CBD tinctures, CBD capsules, gummies, CBD vapes, CBD e-liquid and skincare options.

6. Medterra CBD

Medterra dominates the worldwide CBD oil products market (especially in the USA) and they have only just made their products available for UK residents. Their oils comes in 500mg to 3000mg potencies, so you have a decent range to choose from depending on the symptoms that are ailing you. 

Best CBD Oil UK: The 9 top CBD brands in the UK (2020) Best CBD Oil UK: The 9 top CBD brands in the UK (2020)

Best CBD Oil UK: The 9 top CBD brands in the UK (2020)

One thing that we love about the Medterra's CBD range is its tastelessness. It doesn’t smell like anything either, making it extremely easy to consume. Plus, the dropper cap of this product has marked measurements, so you can measure out your dose every time you take it. 

7. Holistic Herb CBD

If you’re a stickler for quality and always want to go for the premium, look no further than Holistic Herb. They offer strong straightforward potencies of CBD, at 4.2% or 8.2%. If you think you’re going to need higher doses to treat your ailments, then by all means go for this oil. Just so you know, it’s very hard to overdose on CBD oil anyway. You would have to consume gallons of it for it to become detrimental. 

Every batch of their CBD oil sprays are so pure and contain no amount of THC whatsoever. You’re guaranteed to get only the holistic goodness of the crop and not its psychoactive side effects. Since it’s a premium product, it’s the most expensive one on this list, but it’s never really a bad idea to splurge on quality. 

8. NeoHemp

Hemp oil is not exactly the same as CBD oil, but it’s a good place to start if you’re on the fence about using pure CBD. Hemp oil is considered a superfood because of its high amount of fatty acids and bioactive compounds. Unlike CBD oil, Hemp oil is extracted particularly from the crop’s seeds and nowhere else. 

With a 4000mg potency, you can take this oil as is or mix it in with your creams and serums. It’s more affordable than the other picks on this list, but it is also slightly less potent. 

9. Health Hemp Holland

This is another hemp oil. As mentioned above, hemp oils are not to be confused with CBD oils. It’s extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, while CBD oil is extracted from the leaves, flowers, and steams. 

Hemp oils are mainly used to treat skin problems like acne and visible signs of aging. A lot of folks combine them with their sunscreens and moisturizers to get evenly toned clear skin. Hemp has anti-inflammatory properties which help reduce the appearance of spots. 

This is also a great starter oil for those who only looking to get their feet wet in the wonderful pool of CBD products. 

CBD oil UK: final thoughts and takeaway

There you have it, our top picks for the best CBD oils to buy in the UK.

As a friendly reminder, its best to work your way up if you’re unsure about dosing. Start with a lower potencies and check if it relieves your symptoms. There is some trial and error involved in this. But when you find that sweet spot, you’ll soon realize that CBD oils may work wonders on your physical and mental health.

If you're looking for the best and most reliable CBD oils and CBD creams in the UK, look no further than Blessed CBD.

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The Foot journal
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