What is Overpronation?
Our feet are complex structures which means that there are a lot of possible things that can go wrong. From high arches to hammer toes, the list of foot ailments is staggering. One of the most common issues that people run into is called overpronation. Overpronation is when the arch of the foot collapses downward toward the ground causing the foot to roll inward. You can mimic this by rolling our feet inward to try and make your ankles touch each other. It's clear to see when doing this that more of your foot touches the ground. That hollow area that’s usually under the foot’s arch is no longer there so if you were to dip an overpronated foot in ink and make a footprint, you would get one solid oval shape instead of the traditional footprint shape. That is why this is referred to as having a flat foot because the entire bottom surface of the foot touches the ground.
More Than the Feet
If you tried to create a flat foot by moving your ankles toward each other you would have felt changes in the way your entire body stands. These changes in your body’s alignment can cause issues well beyond your feet. In a well-aligned skeleton, a person’s weight is carried across structures that rest on each other in a way that is designed to bear that load. But when the foot is shifted, the weight then rests on areas not meant to act as the body’s stabilizing structures. This can cause other parts to try to compensate and the imbalance, which can sometimes run from the ankle all the way up the spine, can result in pain. In fact, a person with overpronation of the foot may suffer from knee and back pain and not realize that it is all connected.
The first step is to check in with a doctor. A podiatrist will be able to understand the extent of the overpronation and recommend a treatment plan. The treatment plan may include stretches and exercises to help strengthen the areas that are not doing the proper work to maintain alignment. It also can include orthopedic insoles to add to your shoes. Protalus offers a full line of insoles with patented technology focused on correcting alignment. The doctor may instruct you to avoid high impact activities such as running and encourage you to avoid walking barefoot in order to encourage the body to adjust to the inserts.
While overpronation can be painful, the good news is that it can be treated and corrected. We now know how small changes in the structure of the foot can affect the whole body so a small amount of treatment and behavioral change can go a long way.
How to Treat Flat Feet and Over Pronation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.orthofeet.com/blogs/news/how-to-treat-flat-feet-and-over-pronation
Overpronation: Causes, treatment, and exercises. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320383
Treating excessive pronation or supination of the foot. (n.d.). Retrieved July 29, 2020, from https://www.reidhealth.org/blog/treating-excessive-pronation-or-supination-of-the-foot