Overpronation is the most common abnormality found in the foot, and for this reason, is the most studied. The term that most people attribute to overpronation is ?flat feet.? Pronation is the rolling
in of the foot and the collapse of the arch. Every person pronates to some extent and this is a necessary moment in the normal walking cycle as it allows the forefoot to make complete contact with
the ground. Overpronation is when a person pronates too much and for too long. This places excess stress on the tendons and ligaments in the foot and ankle.
Generally fallen arches are a condition inherited from one or both parents. In addition, age, obesity, and pregnancy cause our arches to collapse. Being in a job that requires long hours of standing
and/or walking (e.g. teaching, retail, hospitality, building etc) contributes to this condition, especially when standing on hard surfaces like concrete floors. Last, but not least unsupportive
footwear makes our feet roll in more than they should.
Because overpronation affects the entire lower leg, many injuries and conditions may develop and eventually cause problems not only in the leg and foot, but also the knee, hips and lower back. Pain
often begins in the arch of the foot or the ankle. Blisters may develop on the instep, or on the inside edge of the heels. As overpronation continues and problems develop, pain will be felt
elsewhere, depending on the injury.
Bunions, calluses and crooked toes may indicate alignment problems. So, it is important to ascertain the condition of a client's toes. Check the big toe to determine if the first joint of the toe is
swollen, has a callus or bunion, and/or looks as though it abducts (i.e., hallux valgus) rather than pointing straight ahead. Also, look to see if the lesser toes seem to "curl up" (i.e., the person
has hammer or claw toes). This may be indicative of damage to, or inflexibility of the plantar fascia caused by excessive flattening of the foot.
Non Surgical Treatment
Anti-Pronation Insoles provide a unique foot support system that aligns the lower body. The major cause of foot and leg pain is over pronation (rolling over of the feet) which causes excessive
pressure on the muscles, ligaments and bones of the lower body. Running insoles treat the underlying cause of over pronation and prevent future occurrences of the associated foot or leg condition. A
project conducted at the NIKE Sport Research Laboratory studied the effects of orthotics on rear foot movement in running. Nine well-trained runners who wore orthotics were chosen as subjects. The
results of the study indicated that orthotics reduced rear foot movement by roughly one degree or approximately nine percent of the amount found in runners not using orthotics. The average reduction
of the maximum velocity of pronation was fifteen percent. Thus this study indicates that orthotics and insoles control over pronation which will treat and prevent many sporting injuries.
Subtalar Arthroereisis. The ankle and hindfoot bones/midfoot bones around the joint are fused, locking the bones in place and preventing all joint motion. This may also be done in combination with
fusion at other joints. This is a very aggressive option usually reserved for extreme cases where no joint flexibility is present and/or the patient has severe arthritic changes in the joint.