The way in which the feet function or works can have a substantial influence on the rest of the body. The feet are generally regarded as the foundation of the body and just like the tall building analogy, if that foundation isn't correct, then something can go wrong above. There are many different types of alignment problems that will affect that foundation and how the feet interact with the ground. That connection will have different affects higher up the body.
Among the issues that may go wrong is something that is generally termed “overpronation”. This word can often be used and misused, so should probably be avoided. The word refers to the foot rolling inwards at the ankle joint as well as the mid-foot (arch) of the foot flattening. This is actually quite a normal motion and is only a issue if there to an excessive amount of it. The reason why the phrase is such an issue is that there is no understanding about what is too much and what is normal. This leads to plenty of indecision in research and in clinical practice, particularly when choices have to be made if the overpronation ought to be addressed or not.
The outcomes that this issue can have on the body are claimed to range from bunions and plantar fasciitis in the feet to leg and knee joint conditions in athletes. There are many methods to treat it, again with a lot of disagreement among health professionals as to the best way to treat it. Pragmatically dealing with the overpronation really should be directed at the cause and there is no such thing as a one size fits all. When the condition is caused by tight calf muscles, then stretching out of those tight muscles would be the rational treatment. When the issue is the control of muscles at the hip, then the therapy should be aimed towards that. If the problem is because of weak foot muscles, then that's the best place to begin the therapy with exercises. If the concern is due to a bony alignment trouble in the foot, then foot orthotics will often be prescribed.