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Flat Feet

Definition

Over-pronation, or flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, potentially causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.

Cause

Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The structure of the foot begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten and adding stress to other parts of the foot. As a result, over-pronation, often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-tibial Tendonitis and/or Bunions. 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.

Treatment and Prevention

Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively (non-surgical treatments), ideally with medically prescribed orthotics as indicated by your Podiatrist. Orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and provide biomechanical correction in order to prevent the over-pronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter, arch support and adequate cushioning is often recommended for extra support, stability and comfort. Improperly fitting footwear can lead to additional foot problems.

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