?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 Australian 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.
For those not familiar with the term pronation, you might be familiar with terms related to shoes and pronation such as ?motion control?, ?stability,? and ?neutral cushioned.? The terms motion
control and stability are typically associated with the word ?over-pronation? or a foot that is supposedly pronating too much and needs correction. According to the running shoe industry,
?over-pronation? is a biomechanical affliction evident when the foot and or ankle rolls inward past the vertical line created by your leg when standing.
Common conditions seen with overpronation include heel pain or plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonopathy, hallus valgus and or bunions, patellofemoral pain syndrome, Iliotibial band pain syndrome, low
back pain, shin splints, stress fractures in the foot or lower leg.
Pronounced wear on the instep side of shoe heels can indicate overpronation, however it's best to get an accurate assessment. Footbalance retailers offer a free foot analysis to check for
overpronation and help you learn more about your feet.
Non Surgical Treatment
Orthotics are medical devices used to provide support to correct a physical abnormality. They can provide arch support when needed to remedy over-pronation, and in this particular cases the orthoses
used are usually convenient shoe inserts. These can be taken in and out of shoes, and will be carefully tailored by your podiatrist to the specifics of your foot. It can take some weeks before the
effects of the inserts can become truly noticeable, and in many cases your podiatrist will want to review your orthotics within a few weeks to make fine adjustments based on how well they have worked
to reduce your pain.
Wearing the proper footwear plays a key role as a natural way to help pronation. Pronated feet need shoes that fit well, provide stability, contain supportive cushioning, are comfortable and allow
enough room for your foot to move without causing pain or discomfort. Putting special inner heel wedges, known as orthotics, into your shoes can support a flatfoot while lowering risks of developing
tendinitis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. More extensive cases may require specially fitted orthopaedic shoes that support the arches.