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.
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.
Common conditions that develop with prolonged overpronation typically include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, shin splints, posterior tibial stress syndrome and even IT band syndrome. With
long term neglect you may see the development of bunyons, foot deformities and early onset of hip and knee arthritis.
If you have flat feet or low arches, chances are you overpronate. Although not always the case, the lower your arches the greater the overpronate. Stand on a hard surface (in front of a mirror if you
need to) and look at your feet, flat feet or low arches are easy to spot. If your feet look flatter than a pancake, have a look at your ankles and see if they seem collapsed or straight. If they are,
Non Surgical Treatment
Your podiatrist will look at your current footwear to ensure that it is both well-fitted and possessed of adequate cushioning to protect your feet. Firm heel support is advised for over-pronators,
and a good fit is important to ensure that the foot as a whole is well supported as instability can exacerbate the existing problems caused by over-pronation.
Firstly, a thorough and correct warm up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity or sport. Without a proper warm up the muscles and tendons around your feet, ankles and lower
legs will be tight and stiff. There will be limited blood flow to the lower legs, which will result in a lack of oxygen and nutrients for those muscles. Click here for a detailed explanation of how,
why and when to perform your warm up. Secondly, flexible muscles are extremely important in the prevention of most ankle and lower leg injuries. When muscles and tendons are flexible and supple, they
are able to move and perform without being over stretched. If however, your muscles and tendons are tight and stiff, it is quite easy for those muscles and tendons to be pushed beyond their natural
range of motion. To keep your muscles and tendons flexible and supple, it is important to undertake a structured stretching routine.