Pes planus is the medical term for flat feet. It comes from Latin, Pes = foot and Planus = plain, level ground. Very few people suffer from this condition, as a true flat foot is very rare. Less than
5% of the population has flat feet. The majority of the population, however, has fallen arches (an estimated 60-70% of the population) known in the medical profession as ?excess pronation? or
over-pronation. Over-pronation means the foot and ankle tend to roll inwards and the arch collapses with weight-bearing. This is a quite a destructive position for the foot to function in and may
cause a wide variety of foot, leg and lower back conditions.
Over-pronation has different causes. Obesity, pregnancy, age or repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. Over-pronation is also very common with athletes,
especially runners and most of them nowadays use orthotics inside their shoes. Over-pronation affects millions of people and contributes to a range of common complaints including sore, aching feet,
ball of foot pain, heel Pain, achilles tendonitis, bunions, shin pain, tired, aching legs, knee pain and lower back pain. The most effective treatment solution for over-pronation is wearing an
orthotic shoe insert. Orthotics correct over-pronation, thereby providing natural, lasting pain relief from many common biomechanical complaints.
If you overpronate, your symptoms may include discomfort in the arch and sole of foot. Your foot may appear to turn outward at the ankle. Your shoes wear down faster on the medial (inner) side of
your shoes. Pain in ankle, shins, knees, or hips, especially when walking or running.Unfortunately, overpronation can lead to additional problems with your feet, ankles, and knees. Runners in
particular find that overpronation can lead to shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, compartment syndrome, achilles tendonitis, bunions (hallux valgus) patello femoral pain
syndrome, heel spurs, metatarsalgia. You do not have to be a runner or athlete to suffer from overpronation. Flat feet can be inherited, and many people suffer from pain on a day-to-day basis. Flat
feet can also be traumatic in nature and result from tendon damage over time. Wearing shoes that do not offer enough arch support can also contribute to overpronation.
The best way to discover whether you have a normal gait, or if you overpronate, is to visit a specialty run shop, an exercise physiologist, a podiatrist or a physical therapist who specializes in
working with athletes. A professional can analyze your gait, by watching you either walk or run, preferably on a treadmill. Some facilities can videotape your gait, then analyze the movement of your
feet in slow-motion. Another (and less costly) way is to look at the bottom of an older pair of run shoes. Check the wear pattern. A person with a normal gait will generally see wear evenly across
the heel and front of the shoe. A person who overpronates will likely see more wear on the OUTside of the heel and more wear on the INside of the forefoot (at the ball). A person who supinates will
see wear all along the outer edges of the shoe. You can also learn about your gait by looking at your arches. Look at the shape your wet feet leave on a piece of paper or a flat walking
Non Surgical Treatment
Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to cure and correct your overpronation issues. Certain exercises help. Pull your toes back using a rolled up towel. Roll your feet over a golf or
tennis ball for a minute. And do calf raises by standing up and lifting up on your toes. These all help reposition the foot and strengthen the muscles and tendons necessary for proper support. Beyond
that, simple adjustments to footwear will help immensely.
With every step we take, we place at least half of our body weight on each foot (as we walk faster, or run, we can exert more than twice our body weight on each foot). As this amount of weight is
applied to each foot there is a significant shock passed on to our body. Custom-made orthotics will absorb some of this shock, helping to protect our feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.