The term pronation refers to the natural movement of your foot that happens as your foot hits the ground while walking or running. Overpronation means your foot is rolling inward as you walk. Some people refer to this as flat feet. While flat feet and overpronation can occur together, they are separate conditions. A flat foot refers to someone who has no arch on the inside of their foot, so their entire sole touches the ground when standing. Someone with flat feet may not necessarily overpronate.
If you suffer from one of these issues, you may need to see a Chicago podiatrist who can help with your overpronation and flat foot conditions. Dr. Schoene is a leading podiatrist in Lake County and Chicago with over 30 years of experience. If you are struggling with overpronation or other flat foot conditions, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
What is Overpronation?
Overpronation disrupts the normal alignment of your body, which puts you at risk of developing other injuries. It also causes an increased impact when your foot hits the ground while walking. Someone who is an athlete, especially a runner, is more likely to develop overuse injuries.
Examples of some injuries that we commonly see in people with overpronation include, but are not limited to:
- Heel pain
- Shin splints
- Chronic lower back pain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Stress fractures in the lower leg or foot
- Iliotibial syndrome, which is the inflammation of a ligament on the outside of your knee
Some people are born with flat feet that lead to problems like overpronation. Others develop separate issues that cause their arches to weaken or they develop flat feet, ultimately leading to overpronation. Examples of conditions that can cause overpronation as an adult include being overweight, getting pregnant, or any activity that involves repeatedly striking your foot on a rigid surface.
Treatment Options for Overpronation
Depending on the severity of the overpronation, treatment options will vary. To start, you may be prescribed exercises that will strengthen your arches and the muscles surrounding them. You should always get evaluated by our office so that we can prescribe the best treatment plan for you which may include some foot exercises take out all the rest of this.
- Seated calf stretch: Your Achilles tendon can be stressed by tight calf muscles. Here, you will sit with legs extended out in front of you. Flex your feet. Then, you will bend forward at the waist and try to reach for your toes.
Other options include purchasing better support shoes and wearing orthotics. Someone with overpronation needs shoes that provide extra stability and support as they will minimize the impact your foot makes with each step. Look for shoes that have additional arch support. A specialty running store might be able to provide some recommendations. Otherwise, you should speak with our doctors to help you with your treatment plan.
What are Flat Feet?
Flat feet is a hereditary condition which is passed down from parents or other family members. It may not always look apparent or seem to be a problem in a newborn or toddler but as the child grows it can become more problematic, it may get worse with age, as the child becomes more active or athletic the effects of the flat foot may cause strains within the foot or up into the legs and rest of the skeletal system. Although being hereditary, if the foot is inherently weak or the calf muscles are very tight, this can exasperate the issues. On an occasion an adult might get a flat foot through a serious bone or tendon injury which can show up on one foot only and the list below may contribute to developing a flat foot as an adult:
- Overuse and strain
- Injured tendon
- Fracture or other injuries
The most common appearance of flat feet is a decrease of the long arch in your feet, especially when putting weight on it. Often having flat feet, with or without symptoms or injuries, you may also feel fatigue or pain along the inner side of your foot and arch after activity or prolonged standing.
Potential Issues Caused by Flat Feet
In some cases, flat feet do not cause any issues or require any treatment. Other times, problems can develop that require you to seek medical assistance. Examples of health issues that flat feet can cause include:
- Rolled-in ankles
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Knee, hip, and lower back pain
- Fatigue in the foot, arch, and leg
- Soft tissue inflammation
- Hammertoe and bunions
- Heel, foot, and ankle pain
- Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD)
If you are experiencing pain or notice abnormalities, contact our doctors today to schedule an appointment and learn what your treatment options are.
Treatment Options for Flat Feet
Treatment options will vary based on how severe or if causing symptoms and injuries, we typically prefer to treat children conservatively with exercise, custom-made orthotic insoles, the proper footwear, or braces. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended as it may prevent complications in the future.
In adults, non-surgical treatment options may include:
- Exercise and weight loss
- Corrective and supportive footwear
- Orthotics and various braces
- Supports and braces
- Modification of daily activities
- Physical therapy
If your condition doesn't respond to non-surgical treatment options, then your doctor may discuss surgery. Surgical intervention is the last resort. Conservative treatment options are always the first line of defense. When you meet with Dr. Schoene, and her associates will always try conservative treatments before ever recommending surgery.
Preventing Overpronation and Flat Feet Conditions
Not everyone can prevent developing overpronation or other flat feet conditions. Others may be able to prevent it by losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. Others can reduce its effects by using proper footwear and orthotics. If you are experiencing pain from overpronation or flat feet, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
At Gurnee Podiatry and Sports Medicine Associates, Dr. Schoene and her associate can help. From a humble start, she's grown her practice into a holistic center with podiatric associates, massage therapists, physical therapists, a chiropractor, podiatric medical students, and more. If you are interested in treatment options for your condition or need to get fitted for orthotics, we can assist you. Contact Dr. Schoene and her associates today to learn more about how she can help.