Pronation refers to the inward roll of the foot during normal motion and occurs as the outer edge of the heel strikes the ground and the foot rolls inward and flattens out. A moderate amount of
pronation is required for the foot to function properly, however damage and injury can occur during excessive pronation. When excessive pronation does occur the foot arch flattens out and stretches
the muscles, tendons and ligaments underneath the foot.
Congenital "Flat Feet" - an individual may be born with feet that lack an appropriately supportive arch thereby predisposing the individual to this foot condition. Excessive Weight (Obesity) Too much
weight on the foot from either obesity or pregnancy may be a factor. Repetitive Impact walking on flat, hard surfaces continuously places unnatural stress on the foot arch.
Overpronation may have secondary effects on the lower legs, such as increased rotation of the tibia, which may result in lower leg or knee problems. Overpronation is usually associated with many
overuse injuries in running including medial tibial stress syndrome, or shin splints, and knee pain Individuals with injuries typically have pronation movement that is about two to four degrees
greater than that of those with no injuries. Between 40% and 50% of runners who overpronate do not have overuse injuries. This suggests that although pronation may have an effect on certain injuries,
it is not the only factor influencing their development.
Look at your soles of your footwear: Your sneaker/shoes will display heavy wear marks on the outside portion of the heel and the inside portion above the arch up to the top of the big toe on the
sole. The "wet-foot" test is another assessment. Dip the bottom of your foot in water and step on to a piece of paper (brown paper bag works well). Look at the shape of your foot. If you have a lot
of trouble creating an arch, you likely overpronate. An evaluation from a professional could verify your foot type.
Non Surgical Treatment
Wear shoes with straight or semicurved lasts. Motion-control or stability shoes with firm, multidensity midsoles and external control features that limit pronation are best. Over-the-counter
orthotics or arch supports can help, too. You know you are making improvements when the wear pattern on your shoes becomes more normal. Overpronation causes extra stress and tightness to the muscles,
so do a little extra stretching.
Pronation forces us to bear most of our weight on the inner border of our feet. Custom-made orthotics gently redistributes the weight so that the entire foot bears its normal share of weight with
each step we take. The foot will not twist out at the ankle, but will strike the ground normally when the orthotics is used. This action of the custom-made orthotics will help to prevent shin
splints, ankle sprains, knee and hip pain, lower back pain, nerve entrapments, tendonitis, muscle aches, bunions, generalized fatigue, hammer toes, and calluses.