Two conditions that you may notice with your feet are overpronation and flat feet. Many times the symptoms of both of these conditions will appear to be the same, and many patients will assume that they are dealing with the same condition with both of them. But are there some differences between overpronation and flat feet, and if so, what are they?
What are Flat Feet?
To start, we are going to take a look at flat feet and what is causing them in the first place. A flat foot is one that will not have an arch on the inside of it. This means that the entire bottom of the foot, or the sole, is touching the ground.
In most cases, the flat foot is going to refer back to the non-moving shape of the arch. Of course, there are times when the arch may not be all the way flat, but will not be as pronounced as it should be.
This is usually given the name of a fallen arch. The flat arch only happens when the foot has lost all of the arch support and it will have complete contact with the ground at this time.
It is possible to have a foot that is flat, without the issue of overpronation. However, it is common for the two of these issues to go hand in hand, so you may see problems with flat feet tied together with problems of overpronation.
What is Overpronation?
Now that we know a bit more about flat feet and what they have to do with the amount of arch you have in your foot, it is time to dive into the idea of overpronation a little bit. Overpronation is more about the movement found in the foot.
Healthy pronation is going to be the inward roll of the foot and the natural lowering of the arch that happens when you put weight on the foot. Everyone is going to pronate a little bit when they move around walking or running.
Pronation is going to be part of the system that absorbs the shock of the ground and protects the rest of the body, which means that it is natural for this to happen. The problem will occur when we look at the “over” part of the pronation.
When we have overpronation, it means that your foot is pronating more than it should. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot that occurs when you walk or run. It's when your ankle and arch roll inward slightly to absorb shock when your foot hits the ground. It can be a vague medical term because it is hard to measure how much of the pronation is normal or optimal and how much is too much on the foot.
The reason this can be a problem is that it will affect the direction and timing of forces of the leg and foot and can lead to injury. In many cases, having flat feet can lead us to over-pronate because we are not getting the support in the foot that we need and it can cause the foot to turn inward and not work as well as it should.
In some cases, a cause of overpronation can wear down the arches and cause problems as well, though both conditions can happen on their own.
How Do Flat Feet Cause Overpronation?
Most people who have flat feet will have flexible flat feet. This means that they will have an arch that appears in the foot when they lift it off the ground, or they are able to form an arch with the foot, but when they are standing or walking, the arch is going to collapse.
When this is true for you, overpronation and flat feet can be closely related. You may not have an arch when you are walking because the foot will pronate too much when you put some weight on it. That is why when you talk about correcting the problem with flat feet, there are two things that you will most likely focus on including:
- Increasing the height of your arch when you are standing and moving around.
- Control the amount of pronation that occurs when you walk around or run.
It is important to remember that the two conditions are not actually related. It is possible to have over-pronation and flat feet at the same time, but it is also possible to have either flat feet or overpronation, without the other one. Both are conditions that you should consider seeking out treatment for to keep the feet safe.
Treatment for Overpronation and Flat Feet
For both the overpronation and the flat foot problem, it is important to find good treatments that will protect the feet and keep them safe from harm. Your doctor may recommend a few exercises that you can try out at home or other treatment options, especially if you are experiencing pain and discomfort.
One option that you can try is a pair of custom orthotics. These are designed to match your feet well and can fit into any shoe that you would like to wear.
You can pick out a pair that will fix either of these two issues or both at the same time, giving you the best results in the process. It is also suggested to ensure that you choose one that has comfortable arch support.
This will focus on the issue of flat feet, giving the foot some support and preventing the shock from traveling through the body and causing issues to the knees, ankles, and legs. A custom orthotic can employ the right amount of arch support to protect your feet without it being too high.
You also need a rigid orthotic to deal with over pronation. This will allow you to walk around without problems and can keep the foot in proper alignment so it is no longer to move around or twist in the wrong direction. You will want to do this in a gentle manner though, so a custom orthotic that is designed by a medical professional will ensure that your foot stays safe.
Taking Care of Your Feet
Whether you have flat feet or overpronation, or even a condition that could end up causing both of these in your feet, it is important for you to take the right precautions and give your feet some of the care and attention that they deserve. A good pair of custom orthotics can make all the difference and will ensure that you can provide the feet with some of the love they need.
At Bilt Labs, we are able to help you get the perfect pair of custom orthotics for your feet, no matter the foot condition you are dealing with right now. We have years of experience creating custom orthotics and are happy to serve all of our customers online. Trust us for all of your custom orthotic needs.