Flat Feet and Excessive Pronation
in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton

WHAT ARE FLAT FEET?

Are your feet flat?

Excessive foot pronation is a condition where you see the feet "rolling in" excessively when a person is standing. This gives the appearance that there is a loss of arch or flat foot.

If both feet are rolling in excessively this motion produces the appearance of "flat feet". Flat feet in their true sense are very rare. However, excessive pronation is thought to occur in approximately 50% of the population.

Most feet when studied in the sitting position have an arch. Only during weightbearing do the feet collapse, hence these so called "flat feet" are said to be compensating for a particular condition, they display PRONATION. The foot on the right in the above diagram is pronating excessively.

So when feet pronate (roll-in) excessively, they appear to be flattened through the arch and are therefore often mistakenly termed "flat feet".

WHAT CAUSES FLAT FEET and/or PRONATION?

There are many causes of abnormal pronation which gives rise to the appearance of flat feet. The most common being:

Once your Podiatrist determines the cause of your excessive pronation, appropriate treatment options can then be discussed.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE PRONATION?

The result of either short or long term excessive foot pronation can vary a great deal from patient to patient, but it should be noted that this abnormal force on the body is a major contributor to a myriad of bony and soft tissue problems and therefore - PAIN.

Symptoms can occur in a range of areas including the:

Not only is excessive pronation a major pain contributor in the adult body, but it is also a common factor associated with so called "Growing Pains" in children.

So eliminating this source of aggravation when undergoing knee, hip, back and neck treatment is important. Once more true excessive pronation is the problem here, not "flat feet".

HOW DO YOU TREAT FLAT FEET or PRONATION?

If you have flat feet without excessive pronation, you should not experience painful symptoms.

Your Podiatrist will carry out a detailed assessment of your feet, legs, pelvis and back to identify the cause of your pronation or flat feet.

S/he may then draw lines on you and take specific measurements with respect to different angles of your joints in the feet and legs.

An analysis of your walking pattern is then performed on a treadmill with the use of digital video and computerized imaging.

A plaster cast or foot scan is then taken of your feet in what's called the neutral position and a detailed prescription is drawn up for you, from which a pair of prescription orthoses can be made.

A prescription orthotic device is then produced by a professional laboratory. These orthotic devices fit inside your footwear and assists you in addressing your condition.

Obviously different conditions will require integrated therapy with other health professionals, which your Podiatrist will discuss with you when necessary. This may involve exercises, manipulation, massage, footwear evaluation or other therapy depending on each individuals requirements.

So remember! Having something in your shoes to simply "roll onto" is not the answer.

Setting up a clear, concise and detailed treatment program targeting why the pronation exists and compensating for specific conditions and foot problems is what Podiatrists aim to achieve.