Pronation is the term used to describe a natural movement of the foot when walking. When the gait is normal, the heel strikes the ground first. As weight is transferred forward, the arch of the foot
flattens and the foot rolls slightly inwards. Body weight is then placed on the ball of the foot and toes, and the foot straightens and turns outwards as the toes push off. Overpronation occurs when
the foot rolls inward too far. This causes all the muscles and tendons of the lower leg to twist excessively. Regular overpronation is believed to contribute to the development of many knee, lower
leg and foot injuries such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis and bunions. It is thought that as much as 60% of the population may overpronate.
Acquired "Flat Feet" this develops over a period of time rather than at birth (unlike Congenital "Flat Feet"). In children, many different factors may contribute to the development of this condition
such as the type of shoes that a child wears, a child's sitting or sleeping positions or it may occur as some type of compensation for other abnormalities located further up the leg. Compensation may
occur due to the rupture (tearing) of ligaments or tendons in the foot. One common reason for this condition is that the foot is compensating for a tight Achilles Tendon. If this tendon is tight it
may cause the foot to point downward away from the body. This gives the body the perception that the affected leg is longer in length and the body attempts to compensate for the perceived additional
length by flattening out the foot arch in an attempt to provide balance and stability.
Because overpronation affects the entire lower leg, many injuries and conditions may develop and eventually cause problems not only in the leg and foot, but also the knee, hips and lower back. Pain
often begins in the arch of the foot or the ankle. Blisters may develop on the instep, or on the inside edge of the heels. As overpronation continues and problems develop, pain will be felt
elsewhere, depending on the injury.
One of the easiest ways to determine if you overpronate is to look at the bottom of your shoes. Overpronation causes disproportionate wear on the inner side of the shoe. Another way to tell if you
might overpronate is to have someone look at the back of your legs and feet, while you are standing. The Achilles tendon runs from the calf muscle to the heel bone, and is visible at the back of the
ankle. Normally it runs in a straight line down to the heel. An indication of overpronation is if the tendon is angled to the outside of the foot, and the bone on the inner ankle appears to be more
prominent than the outer anklebone. There might also be a bulge visible on the inside of the foot when standing normally. A third home diagnostic test is called the ?wet test?. Wet your foot and
stand on a surface that will show an imprint, such as construction paper, or a sidewalk. You overpronate if the imprint shows a complete impression of your foot (as opposed to there being a space
where your arch did not touch the ground).
Non Surgical Treatment
Personal orthotics can be prescribed via your healthcare professional. If finances or insurance are issues, similar and often better options can be purchased online for overpronation. The right
walking shoes are also essential. Most shoes cater to neutral foot gaits, unless they specifically state otherwise. That won?t help you if your foot rolls inward. In order to correct the issue, you
need shoes with stability or motion control abilities, low heels, deep heel cups, and good arch support.
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.