The Difference Between Flat Feet and Overpronation

Overpronation and flat feet are two different but related diseases that impact the biomechanics of the foot and can cause a number of musculoskeletal problems. Even though they frequently cohabit, it's important to recognise their distinctions.

Flat Feet

When the foot arch falls and the entire sole touches the ground, it is referred to as flat feet, pes planus, or fallen arches. The foot appears flattened as a result of this absence of arch. Congenital (existing from birth) or acquired later in life as a result of ageing, trauma, or extended standing are the two types of flat feet.

  1. Genetics: Parents might pass on flat feet to their offspring.

  2. Weak arch muscles:  Flat feet may result from weak muscles supporting the arch of the foot.

  3. Damage: An arch that collapses may result from trauma or injury to the tendons and ligaments in the foot.

  4. Medical conditions: Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are two ailments that might result in flat feet.'


  1. Foot pain or discomfort, particularly in the arch or heel region.

  2. Ankle inside-tender swelling.

  3. Having trouble maintaining extended standing.

  4. Tired feet.


  1. Orthopaedic inserts: Over-the-counter or custom arch supports can ease discomfort and offer extra support.

  2. Exercises: Certain exercises can help enhance foot mechanics.

  3. Footwear: Equitable weight distribution across the foot can be achieved by wearing supportive shoes with strong arch support.

  4. Physical therapy: Treating muscular imbalances and enhancing foot function are two benefits of working with a physical therapist.



Overpronation is the excessive inward rolling of the foot during the gait cycle. It happens when the arch of the foot falls too far downward and inward, causing the foot and ankle to overpronate or twist inward. Overpronation can cause misalignment of the lower body, including the ankles, knees, hips, and even the lower spine.


  1. Flat feet: Lack of arch support increases the risk of overpronation.

  2. Genetics: Some people are predisposed to overpronate.

  3. Weakness in specific foot and leg muscles might lead to overpronation.

  4. Improper footwear might worsen overpronation.


  1. Pain in the arches or heels.

  2. Knee soreness.

  3. Shin splints.

  4. Plantar fasciitis.

  5. Hammertoes or bunions.


  1. Supportive footwear: Shoes with motion control and arch support can stabilise and minimise overpronation.

  2. Orthotic inserts: Custom or prefabricated orthotics can improve support and alignment.

  3. Strengthening and stretching exercises for the foot, ankle, and lower leg can enhance stability and correct muscular imbalances.

  4. Professional gait analysis can uncover biomechanical abnormalities that lead to overpronation and provide treatment options.

Overall, overpronation and flat feet are two separate issues that manifest in different ways and require different approaches to therapy. To get a correct diagnosis and good treatment, you must know the distinctions between them.