Over Pronation (Flat Feet) refers to the biomechanical shock-absorbing motion of the ankle, foot and lower leg. It is the natural inward flexing motion of the lower leg and ankle. Standing, walking,
and running cause the ankle joint to pronate which in turn helps the body to absorb shock and allows it to control balance. An ankle joint that is too flexible causes more pronation than desired.
This common condition is called Over- Pronation (sometimes referred to as "Flat Feet"). This foot condition places an extreme degree of strain on various connective tissues of the ankle, foot, and
knee. If this condition is not addressed foot pain and toe deformities such as bunions and hammer toes (just to name a couple) may develop. Hip and lower back pain may also be residual results from
Over-pronation may happen because the tissue that attaches to your foot bones is loose. You may be born with this problem or it may result from injuries or overuse, like from too much running.
Symptoms can manifest in many different ways. Here is a list of some of the common conditions associated with over-pronation in children. Achilles Pain. Ankle pain. Arch Pain. Low back pain. Heel
Pain. Knee Pain (Runner's knee and Chondromalecia of the patella) Osgood Schlatter Disease (pain below the knee) Shin Splints (pain in the front of the lower leg) Over-pronation does not necessarily
mean your child has "flat feet." Even though children's arches may be relatively high when they lie down or sit, over-pronation may not be seen until your child is standing. A certain amount of
pronation is normal. During normal walking or running ("gait cycle"), the heel strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward to absorb shock and adapt to the surface. This gait cycle is even more
important if the running surface is uneven.
When sitting, an over-pronating foot appears quite normal, i.e. showing a normal arch with room under the underside of the foot. The moment you get up and put weight on your feet the situation
changes: the arches lower and the ankle slightly turns inwards. When you walk or run more weight is placed on the feet compared to standing and over-pronation will become more evident. When walking
barefoot on tiles or timber floors over-pronation is more visible, compared to walking on carpet or grass.
Non Surgical Treatment
Get a gait analysis of your running style, this will highlight if you overpronate, oversupinate or have a neutral gait. Most podiatrists, physio's and sports therapists will offer this service, as do
some specialist sports shops. Find a clinic. If you overpronate, get orthotics with extra medial support. Many running shoes have a harder material on the inside of the midsole (the thick hard foam
part of the running shoe). This means the inside of the shoe will be compressed less under load and support the inside of the foot preventing it from rolling in or flattening. For people with
considerable overpronation, another option is to have an orthotic device fitted. Orthotic insoles come in many types and prices. Some are pre-molded and can be bought off the shelf. These are ok for
the majority of problem feet. However some cases may require specially casted orthotics from a relevant sports injury therapist or podiatrist.
Strengthen the glutes to slow down the force of the foot moving too far inward. Most individuals who over-pronate have weak glute muscles and strengthening this area is a must. A simple exercise to
strengthen glutes is lateral tube walking across a field/court/room. Place a lateral stretch band around your ankles and move your leg sideways while keeping your feet forward.