Flat Feet Treatment Cairns Pronating Foot Type (Flat Feet)

Flat feet treatment Cairns is available at FNQ Podiatry and Orthotics, with clinics available around the region for your convenience. What is a flat foot and over-pronation? Foot pronation is a natural and normal movement of the foot during running or walking. Put simply, it is the arch rolling or tipping inwards. This motion is necessary as it provides shock absorption for the rest of the lower limb and therefore reduces stresses through bony and soft tissue structures. However, in some cases, pronation can occur in excessive amounts which can lead to notable compensations through the lower limb, often contributing to injury. A common misconception is that foot pronation only occurs in ‘flat feet’ however this is not the case at all. Whilst being a little more uncommon, you can also get high arched feet that pronate. These feet have a high arch position while non-weight bearing however collapse heavily during stance, therefore leading to increased workload through the lower limb. It is this very reason why our Podiatrists always assess arch position while you are laying on the bed and compare it to what happens when you stand, walk and run. If you are seeking professional flat feet / pronating feet treatment Cairns, FNQ Podiatry and Orthotics can help.

Why Did I Get Flat-Feet / Pronating Feet?

In the majority of cases of flat feet that we see, it is a hereditary condition which is predominantly first noticed during childhood. This is generally associated with hypermobile (loose) joints which leads to the foot collapsing during standing or walking. Other common contributing factors include:

  • Pregnancy – (hormonal changes lead to more flexibility through the feet).
  • Previous injury to the foot e.g. fractured ankle.
  • Poor muscle strength.
  • Medical Conditions – e.g. Autism, hypermobility disorders
  • Scoliosis or leg length differences.
  • Damage or degeneration of the Tibialis Posterior tendon, the main tendon supporting the foot.
  • Tarsal Coalition – medical condition characterized by the bridging of two bones in the rear-foot, where there should have been a joint. This often results in a rigid and flat arch, even while you aren’t putting any pressure through your feet.

What are the Symptoms of Flat Feet / Pronating Feet?

Whilst it is important to note that some people don’t experience pain with flat feet, the majority of people will at some point in their life. The following is a common list of signs/symptoms that we see in our clinics in patients who present with flat feet or excessive pronation:

  1. Hip / Lower Back Pain. Feet are the foundation for your whole body so excessive foot pronation often leads to increased work-load through the hip and lower back.
  2. Knee Pain. Foot pronation is a common cause of pain through the knee, largely due to the internal rotation of the tibia (shin bone). The tibia makes up half of your foot/ankle joint and half of your knee joint so if it rotates in, this often leads to the same occurring at the knee. Common knee complaints that are caused by flat feet are patello-femoral pain syndrome and patella tendinopathy.
  3. Inside (Medial) Shin Pain. Internal rotation of the foot/ankle, leads to increased work-load through the muscles that support the arch. The muscles run along the inside of the shin bone (tibia) and often results in discomfort in this region e.g. shin splints, adult acquired flat foot or Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome.
  4. Heel Pain. Plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy and plantar fascial tears can all be caused by excessive foot pronation. This inside motion leads to increased load through these structures and can eventually lead to degeneration or tearing.
  5. Arch Pain. As the foot collapses in, the muscles and tendons in the arch of the foot get stretched out. Over time this can lead to pathologies such as Plantar Fasciitis, mid-foot arthritis and intrinsic muscle tears.
  6. Fore-Foot Pain. The most common fore-foot issues that are contributed to by excessive pronation or flat feet are bunions and sesamoiditis. Both of these are due to increased load getting placed through the big toe joint as a result of the foot collapse.

How are Flat Feet / Pronating Feet Diagnosed?

Flat feet can be diagnosed through a thorough biomechanical assessment of the lower limb. This assessment will include a musculoskeletal strength test, stance assessment, video gait analysis of you walking/running and various functional tests e.g. hopping/skipping. In some instances, imaging may be required to assess the severity and to rule out any other contributing factors e.g. Coalition.

How are Flat Feet / Pronating Feet Treated?

Once our Podiatrist has run you through a detailed biomechanical assessment, they will outline the individual contributing factors to your flat feet and go through a treatment plan to target these factors. Whilst there are a number of different ways to address flat feet, our treatment plans generally involve the following.

1.Strengthening Program

  • A targeted strengthening program will be prescribed in order to improve lower limb function and improve the foot’s ability to be able to cope with this motion.
  • The strengthening program usually targets the calf muscle complex, the muscles that run down along the inside of the shin bone (e.g. Tibialis Posterior) as well as the small intrinsic muscles of the foot.
  • There is also a large association between flat feet and dysfunction of the gluteal muscles (hip and pelvic stabilizers) so our programs will generally involve some conditioning work through these muscle groups also.

2.Custom Foot Orthotics Cairns

  • A 3D scan will be taken of your feet. This will allow our Podiatrist to design a pair of custom made orthotic insoles for your feet, on our computer software program. These insoles will be exact to 0.01mm and will hold your arch in its desired position, therefore improving your lower limb function. The orthotics will be transferable between a variety of different footwear and will be made as soft as possible in order to provide adequate shock absorption through the feet.

3.Footwear Recommendations

  • The Podiatrist will also recommend specific footwear for your biomechanical needs and desired activity. This will help you narrow down your search for the ‘perfect shoe’ and ultimately improve your comfort levels whenever you are walking or running. Not all shoes are designed the same, just like all feet are different.

If you or a family member are suffering from pain and feel like your flat feet may be contributing, please give our friendly team a call on 40 455 749. One of our friendly Podiatrists will be happy to run you through an initial examination, to get to the bottom of your pain and get you back doing what you love as soon as possible.

Controlling over pronation is important to reduce the risk of possible further injury. In the majority of cases we will look at prescribing footwear which will provide greater support. Furthermore if required we may look at prescribing Custom Foot Orthotics which help improve the alignment of over-pronation. These will reduce stress placed on major structures of the foot such as the joints and muscles.

Alternatively we can look at an exercise plan to improve strength through the structures which are commonly at risk of injury such as the tibialis posterior and the intrinsic muscles of the foot. These treatments combined will lower risk of further injury.

LOWER BACK PAIN

Flat feet and lower limb biomechanics can cause lower back pain. We can help with a range of effective treatment options.

KNEE PAIN

If you have knee pain, you might have Patellofemoral syndrome, which left untreated can become a chronic condition.

SHIN SPLINTS

Active individuals often get shin splints. We can help with custom orthotics, massage and strapping.

HEEL PAIN

Heel pain (Plantar Fasciitis) is the most common condition that presents at our clinics. We can help.

FOOT & ANKLE PAIN

The average pair of feet walk approximately 200,000 km over the course of a lifetime - have you had yours checked recently?

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