When your longitudinal arch pronates it functions like a spring and is your body’s way of cushioning or absorbing shock. Over-pronation, or flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs when a person’s longitudinal arch loses its elasticity and collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, possibly causing plantar fasciitis. Other foot problems that are common with over-pronation include Metatarsalgia, Post-tibia Tendonitis and 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. People with flat feet often 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.
Treatment and Prevention of Over-Pronation
Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively (non-surgical treatments) with proper footwear and over-the-counter orthotics. Footwear with a firm heel counter and extended medial counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Shoes that are described as stability, motion-control or orthopedic usually incorporate these features. It is also extremely important that these shoes fit properly. Orthotics designed with appropriate arch support or rigidity and medial rear foot posting to prevent the over-pronation is also usually recommended.