Fallen Arches, Flat feet and over-pronation

Fallen arches, flat feet and over-pronation

We have natural arches in our feet that are made up of muscles tied together with Tendons. These are the tight bands with which our heel is attached to our foot bones. The broad ligament under the foot is called the “plantar fascia” and it forms the natural arch of our feet. Our arches are ‘normal’ when there’s enough tension (or pull) in the muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Fallen arches occur when the foot muscles and ligaments are weakened and have less tension than normal. This will cause the arch of the foot to lower. Fallen arches are often confused with “flat feet”. A flat foot occurs when the plantar surface bottom) of the foot is in total contact with the ground, so there’s no arch at all.

Fallen arches are very common and affect at least half of the Australian population, whereas ‘flat feet’ is a condition only found in less than 5% of the population.

What is over-pronation?

During walking our feet pronate and supinate. These are natural movements designed to absorb shock when the foot lands and propel us forward as the feet leave the ground. Pronation is rolling in of the foot, supination means the foot rolls out. In a healthy foot the level and degree of pronation and supination is equal.  However, most of us suffer from “over-pronation” (also called ‘excess pronation). 

What this means is that after the foot lands on the ground, the foot and ankle roll in, the arch lowers – all common natural occurrences. The problem with over-pronation is that the foot rolls too far inwards, the arches lower too much and at the ‘recovery stage’ the feet don’t bounce back enough i.e. they don’t roll-out (supinate) as they should, to give us the right amount of propulsion.

When the feet stay on the ground for too long and roll-in too far we call this ‘over-pronation’.

Over-pronation, flat feet and fallen arches all can cause pain and discomfort in the feet. Common foot problems such as heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis) and ball of foot pain (Metatarsalgia) are often associated with over-pronation, flat feet or fallen arches.

In addition, mal-aligned feet may lead to problems higher up in the body, including shin splints, knee pain, hip problems – even low back pain!

The most effective solution for these kinds of biomechanical problems is to use foot orthotics. Orthotics provide improved alignment to your feet and eventually help reduce pain and discomfort, averting further injury.

Zullaz footwear incorporates Footlogics Orthotic Technology in our shoes, sandals, thongs and slippers to re-align your feet to their natural position, i.e to raise the archse and to correct over-pronation.