Overpronation / Hyperflexibility
Overpronation, or what is more commonly referred to as flat feet, is a common biomechanical problem that occurs during walking. As a person walks, the arches of the foot collapse as they make contact with the ground, allowing the foot to make full contact with the floor. This arch collapse can cause extreme stress or inflammation to the plantar side of the foot and result in severe discomfort.
Often, people with overpronated feet do not experience pain or discomfort immediately or continually. Some people never suffer at all. However, when symptoms develop and pain is present, walking can become uncomfortable as it places stress and strain on the entire body.
Overpronation is often the root of many foot and back problems, such as:
Any of the prior conditions, if left unsupported, may lead to a rupture of the tendon resulting in the need for surgical repair.
Overpronation is very common in people with flexible pes planus (flat feet); however, people with hyperflexible pes normal (medium arch feet) are usually overpronators as well. It’s the extreme flexibility of the foot that allows the foot to collapse when it bears weight, causing the arch to flatten, and therefore, add stress to other parts of the foot. Most often, overpronators walk biomechanically backward.
Some common causes for overpronation are:
- Repetitive long-term exposure to hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt
- Weakening of the supporting tendons and ligaments that comes with age
- Hyperflexibility of the foot
It is very important to restore proper biomechanics to the overpronated foot as much as possible. Not all states of overpronation can be biomechanically corrected 100%. This is due to the body’s tolerance to the acceptance of support. Some people can be helped a great deal while others can only be helped a little. That being said, almost all cases of overpronation are improved with the help of a custom-fitted ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic, which provides support, stability, better posture, and overall comfort for not only the foot, but the entire body. Properly fitted footwear is also another factor when trying to restore better biomechanics to the overpronated foot. Improperly fitted footwear can actually make an overpronated foot worse.
Make sure you are fitting your shoes properly. Have your fit checked regularly. And remember, the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.
Note: If you follow these guidelines and your problems persist, you must seek the counsel of a physician for a proper diagnosis and treatment.