Over-pronation, or flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or
inflammation on the plantar fascia, potentially causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.
Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The framework of the foot begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten and adding stress to other parts of the foot. As a
result, over-pronation, often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions. There are many causes of flat feet. Obesity, pregnancy or repetitive pounding
on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. Often people with flat feet do not experience discomfort immediately, and some never suffer from any discomfort at all. However, when
symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and calves.
If you overpronate, your symptoms may include discomfort in the arch and sole of foot, your foot may appear to turn outward at the ankle, your shoes wear down faster on the medial (inner) side of
your shoes. Pain in ankle, shins, knees, or hips, especially when walking or running are classic symptoms of overpronation. Overpronation can lead to additional problems with your feet, ankles, and
knees. Runners in particular find that overpronation can lead to shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, compartment syndrome, achilles tendonitis, bunions or hallux valgus,
patello-femoral pain syndrome, heel spurs, metatarsalgia.
The best way to discover whether you have a normal gait, or if you overpronate, is to visit a specialty run shop, an exercise physiologist, a podiatrist or a physical therapist who specializes in
working with athletes. A professional can analyze your gait, by watching you either walk or run, preferably on a treadmill. Some facilities can videotape your gait, then analyze the movement of your
feet in slow-motion. Another (and less costly) way is to look at the bottom of an older pair of run shoes. Check the wear pattern. A person with a normal gait will generally see wear evenly across
the heel and front of the shoe. A person who overpronates will likely see more wear on the OUTside of the heel and more wear on the INside of the forefoot (at the ball). A person who supinates will
see wear all along the outer edges of the shoe. You can also learn about your gait by looking at your arches. Look at the shape your wet feet leave on a piece of paper or a flat walking
Non Surgical Treatment
Side Step with Opposite Reach. This exercise is designed to load the "bungee cord system" of the gluteal muscle and its opposite, latissimus dorsi muscle to keep the foot from overpronating. Because
the opposite arm swings across the front leg when walking, this exercise creates tension in the muscles all the way from the front foot, across the back of the hips and back, to the fingers of the
opposite hand. Movement Directions. Stand with left foot on top of the dome of the BT. (Note: For added balance, the right foot can tap on the ground, if needed). Reach right leg out to the side of
the BT, and tap the ground while squatting down on the left side and reaching right arm across the left knee. Push down with left big toe while squatting. This activates the arch of the left foot and
strengthens all the stabilizing muscles on the left side of the lower body. Return to starting position. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgeon may recommend one or more treatment options. Ultimately, however, it's YOUR decision as to which makes the most sense to you. There are many
resources available online and elsewhere for you to research the various options and make an informed decision.