Pronation is a work that describes motion, all people "pronate" when walking. Over-pronation is a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person's arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, post tibial tendon and other muscles and tendons.
Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The framework 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-tib tendonitis and or bunions. There are many causes of flat feet. Obesity, heredity, 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 any discomfort at all. However, when symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and knees. Many different ethnic populations are known to have higher occurences of very flat foot shapes which are considered normal and non problematic.
Treatment and Prevention
Over-pronation can be treated conservatively with over the counter or custom foot orthotics. The orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rear foot posting to prevent the over-pronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Footwear should have a low or a flat heel and flat stable soles. Many styles of athletic shoes can be purchased that provide extra stability.