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What are collapsing arches?

A collapsed or fallen arch occurs when the normal arches in our feet are not maintained or are abnormally low in weight-bearing positions. When this occurs, we may appear 'flat footed'. This is a common cause of various over-use injury in runners.

What is over pronation?

Over pronation describes the excessive inward rolling of the foot during the stance phase of gait. Inward rolling to some extent is normal as we walk/run, however in many individuals this happens to an excessive degree and can cause many different issues. Much like collapsing arches, this can lead to over-use injury in runners.

What causes collapsing arches / over pronation?

Flat feet in runners can be present for a variety of reasons. Most commonly:
  • Congenitally (present from birth)
  • Damaged/lax tendons or ligaments in the feet
  • Fractured bones
  • Neurological problems
  • Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Damage/injury to the tibialis posterior tendon (a tendon found in the foot), or weakness in this muscle.
Over pronation is closely linked to collapsing arches. In-fact collapsing arches will often result in an individual over pronating. Further causes of over pronation for runners may originate from other parts of the body, including:
  • Excessive lumbar (lower back) curvature
  • Anterior tilted pelvis
  • Poor control/muscle weakness at the hip
  • Valgus postural abnormalities at the knee (knocking knee posture)

Physiotherapist led exercise in controlling foot pronationAbove: Physiotherapist led exercise in controlling foot pronation

Potential running-related injuries caused by over pronation / collapsing arches

Many of the non-traumatic injuries that runners develop can be linked to collapsed arches and over pronation, as these postural abnormalities can cause abnormal movement and stresses throughout various other body segments. Usually this type of injury develops gradually and spontaneously. Examples of injuries that may be caused by over pronation/collapsing arches include:

Biomechanical assessment for runners using videography Above: Biomechanical assessment for runners using videography

Biomechanical assessment of over pronation / collapsing arches

At Physio.co.uk we offer video analysis of your running technique by highly skilled Physiotherapists and trained Biomechanists. If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, or pain elsewhere that you believe is related to over pronation or collapsed arches, we can isolate the abnormalities in you running mechanics. Furthermore, we can advise you how to correct your fallen arches or over pronation with a training programme tailored towards runners.

To arrange a biomechanical running assessment with one of the specialist physiotherapists, please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 today. You can also book appointments online using our online booking system

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Mobile: 0330 088 7800
Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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