Overpronation is a condition in which the foot rolls excessively down and inward. The arch may elongate and collapse (or ?fall?) and the heel will lean inward. Overpronation should not be confused
with pronation. Pronation is a normal motion of the foot during weight bearing and allows the foot to absorb shock as it contacts the ground.
There has been some speculation as to whether arch height has an effect on pronation. After conducting a study at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Maggie Boozer suggests that people with
higher arches tend to pronate to a greater degree. However, the generally accepted view by professionals is that the most pronation is present in those with lower arch heights. To complicate matters,
one study done by Hylton Menz at the University of Western Sydney-Macarthur suggests that the methods for measuring arch height and determining whether someone is ?flat-footed? or ?high-arched? are
unreliable. He says, ?For this reason, studies investigating the relationship between static arch height motion of the rearfoot have consistently found that such a classification system is a poor
predictor of dynamic rearfoot function.
Common conditions that develop with prolonged overpronation typically include plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, shin splints, posterior tibial stress syndrome and even IT band syndrome. With
long term neglect you may see the development of bunyons, foot deformities and early onset of hip and knee arthritis.
Look at your soles of your footwear: Your sneaker/shoes will display heavy wear marks on the outside portion of the heel and the inside portion above the arch up to the top of the big toe on the
sole. The "wet-foot" test is another assessment. Dip the bottom of your foot in water and step on to a piece of paper (brown paper bag works well). Look at the shape of your foot. If you have a lot
of trouble creating an arch, you likely overpronate. An evaluation from a professional could verify your foot type.
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatment with orthotics will provide the required arch support to effectively reduce excessive pronation and restore the foot and its posture to the right biomechanical position. It should be
ensured that footwear has sufficient support, for example, shoes should have a firm heel counter to provide adequate control.
Calcaneal "Slide" (Sliding Calcaneal Osteotomy) A wedge is cut into the heel bone (calcaneus) and a fixation device (screws, plate) is used to hold the bone in its new position. This is an aggressive
option with a prolonged period of non-weightbearing, long recovery times and many potential complications. However, it can and has provided for successful patient outcomes.