Flat Feet – Pes Planus and Over-Pronation

Flatfoot is a condition which occurs when the longitudinal arch in one’s foot, which runs lengthwise along the sole of the foot, is over stretchered or overloaded, such that it is lowered or flattened out. This condition may affect one foot or both feet.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet (also called fallen arches or Pes Planus) is a condition that results from a collapse in the arches thus making the whole or almost the whole sole to come into contact with the ground.

Having this condition means that your sole almost entirely touches the ground because you have fallen arches.

The arch is that part on the lower side of your foot that is usually raised above the other parts and does not come into contact with the ground as the other parts do.

In young children, the arch may not be easy to see because their feet are still under development. However, as they grow older, the arch becomes more pronounces and easier to see.

In some cases, people never develop this feature. One of the reasons for this deformity is inheritance of this stature from their parents. Other issues that are often associated with this problem include:

  • Pain in the following regions; lower legs, ankles, hip, feet, and lower back.
  • Your feet may also roll inwards too much (overpronation) and this may cause injuries or wearing out of shoes quickly.
  • An underlying problem that could be associated with the muscles, connective tissues, or bones around the feet.

Podiatrists recommend treatment if you have these problems and seek prevention measures.

The difference between Pronation and Overpronation

Pronation is considered a normal part of the walking process. When the outer side of your heel hits the ground, supination or locking takes place for it to absorb the shock waves generated. Then, forefoot rolls a little and the heel moves outwards. When these two actions occur concurrently, the process is called pronation/ unlocking. The process also helps you to adapt to surfaces that are uneven. Like in many people, overpronation occurs when your foot rolls inwards beyond the normal range.

What is Overpronation?

Overpronation makes the foot not to absorb the shock generated by your strides. This shock is then transmitted to other parts like the spine, hips, knees, and legs. Other foot problems and conditions such as plantar fasciitis and bunions maybe as a result of overpronation.

People with conditions have low arches, flat feet, or arches that are overly flexible usually tend to overpronate. Since their arches are not able to support the steps, the feet roll inwards beyond the expected limit leading to twisting of the foot, leg, and knee. This in turn forces the body to move out of the its alignment.

What causes flat feet?

This condition mostly occurs as a result of inheritance. However, in some instances, this condition comes about due to:

  • Improper formation of the feet bones while in the womb.
  • Loose connective tissues in the rest of the body in conditions like Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and joint hypermobility syndrome.
  • Conditions like cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy.
  • Stretching and inflammation of connective tissues due to overuse, increase in age, obesity, and unsupportive footwear.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis may also contribute to this condition.

Treatment for flat feet

This condition only requires treatment if there is an underlying problem, pain, or overpronation. In most cases our 3D custom made orthotics along with proper footwear and exercises are recommended as they aid the patient in pain reduction and can prevent further complications.

Contact us on 03 9077 5915 for further assessment and treatment.