Flat feet, high arches, pronation, supination – What do they mean, and do we need to do anything about them?
Flat feet and high arches are static postures of the foot. Contrary to belief, neither of them is a “better” foot posture than the other, as they are essentially anatomical variations. Of greater significance, is the movement available in the foot.
In general, pronation results in loading on the inside border of the foot, which corresponds to the lowering of the medial arch. Conversely, supination results in loading on the outer border of the foot, which corresponds to the lifting of the medial arch. Regardless of flat feet or high arches, we all need sufficient amounts of pronation and supination to occur in gait. Too much or too little of either movement can contribute to inefficient biomechanics as we walk, run or move.
Take a peek at the sole of your footwear – are they more worn on the inner or outer border? Are they more worn on one shoe than the other? This can give us an idea of the weight distribution in our feet as we move.
If you find yourself putting more weight on the side of your big toe and your footwear shows greater wear on the inside border, it is likely you are an overpronator and may be flat-footed.
Exercises to Improve Supination
If you find yourself putting more weight on the side of your little toe and your footwear shows greater wear on the outer border, it is likely you are an over supinator.
Exercises to Improve Pronation
While these assessments only form part of the diagnosis, have a go with these exercises! Be sure to see one of our physiotherapists if you’ve had an injury or are experiencing pains!