Excessive pronation hampers our natural walking pattern, causing an imbalance and leading to wear and tear in other parts of the body, with every step we take! Whether you have a true flat foot or
suffer from over-pronation in both cases your poor walking pattern may contribute to a range of different complaints. Especially with age, poor alignment of the feet will cause very common conditions
such as heel pain or knee Pain.
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.
Overpronation can be a contributing factor in other lower extremity disorders, such as foot pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), periostitis, stress
fractures and myofascial trigger points. Overpronation increases the degree of internal tibial rotation, thereby contributing to various knee disorders such as meniscal injury or ligament sprains.
The effects of the postural deviation are exaggerated in athletes due to the increase in foot strikes while running and the greater impact load experienced. When running, three to four times the body
weight is experienced with each foot strike.2 If overpronation exists, the shock force is not adequately absorbed by the foot and is transmitted further up the kinetic chain.
To easily get an idea of whether a person overpronates, look at the position and condition of certain structures in the feet and ankles when he/she stands still. When performing weight-bearing
activities like walking or running, muscles and other soft tissue structures work to control gravity's effect and ground reaction forces to the joints. If the muscles of the leg, pelvis, and feet are
working correctly, then the joints in these areas such as the knees, hips, and ankles will experience less stress. However, if the muscles and other soft tissues are not working efficiently, then
structural changes and clues in the feet are visible and indicate habitual overpronation.
Non Surgical Treatment
The following exercises help retrain the foot and ankle complex to correct overpronation. Step Up and Over. This exercise is designed to integrate skills learned in the Duck Stand, Big Toe Pushdowns
and Side Step with Opposite Reach exercises to mimic walking and even running. Using the gluteal muscles and big toe in tandem will prevent overpronation while moving back and forth over the BT in a
more effective, balanced motion. Movement Directions. Stand with left foot on top of the BT dome. (Note: For added balance, the right foot can tap on the ground, if needed). Extend right foot
backwards to the ground and drop hips into a lunge position. Make sure that the right arm rotates across the left leg (this will activate the gluteal muscles on the left side). Now, step through and
over the BT into a front lunge with the right leg forward. While lunging forward, the torso and left arm now rotate over the right leg. Throughout the exercise, push big toe down into the BT. Perform
8 to 10 repetitions on both sides.
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.