Normal, healthy feet pronate! Normal pronation does not need to be ?corrected?. However, some people OVER-pronate. Those people need a shoe that supports their over-pronating foot to help guide the
foot and avoid injury. So, what does pronation mean exactly? Well, ?pronate? is the word used to describe the natural motion of the foot after it strikes the ground. When a person with a normally
pronating foot runs, the outside part of the heel strikes the ground. As the individual shifts the body weight forward, the foot rolls inward (pronates) and the entire foot comes into contact with
the ground. This allows the foot to properly support the body and absorb the impact forces. Motion continues forward and the peron pushes off (called ?toe off?) evenly from the front of the foot.
Someone who OVER-pronates strikes the ground with the heel in the same way, but the foot rolls too far inward (overpronation). This causes foot and ankle strain, as it does not allow the foot and
ankle to properly support the body nor to properly absorb the impact forces. As motion continues forward, they will toe-off more from the ball of her foot. Runners who overpronate are susceptible to
foot, ankle and knee problems if they don't wear a shoe that properly supports the motion of their feet.
There has been some speculation as to whether arch height has an effect on pronation. After conducting a study at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Maggie Boozer suggests that people with
higher arches tend to pronate to a greater degree. However, the generally accepted view by professionals is that the most pronation is present in those with lower arch heights. To complicate matters,
one study done by Hylton Menz at the University of Western Sydney-Macarthur suggests that the methods for measuring arch height and determining whether someone is ?flat-footed? or ?high-arched? are
unreliable. He says, ?For this reason, studies investigating the relationship between static arch height motion of the rearfoot have consistently found that such a classification system is a poor
predictor of dynamic rearfoot function.
Eventually, over-pronation can lead to a full list of maladies including flat feet, plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, neuromas, heel spurs, shin splints, ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes,
calluses, and pain in the arches, knee, hip and lower back. But it doesn?t have to go that far, because there are steps we can take to correct the over-pronation. In the vast majority of cases, we?ll
prescribe custom foot orthotics, which will realign your ankles, redistribute the weight, support the arch and reduce the twisting. Many orthotics will fit snugly into your normal shoes. Although
we?ll also take a look at the type of shoes you wear to see if they are contributing to the problem.
Bunions, calluses and crooked toes may indicate alignment problems. So, it is important to ascertain the condition of a client's toes. Check the big toe to determine if the first joint of the toe is
swollen, has a callus or bunion, and/or looks as though it abducts (i.e., hallux valgus) rather than pointing straight ahead. Also, look to see if the lesser toes seem to "curl up" (i.e., the person
has hammer or claw toes). This may be indicative of damage to, or inflexibility of the plantar fascia caused by excessive flattening of the foot.
Non Surgical Treatment
If a young child is diagnosed with overpronation braces and custom orthotics can be, conjunction with strengthening and stretching exercises, to realign the bones of the foot. These treatments may
have to continue until the child has stopped growing, and orthotics may need to be worn for life in order to prevent the foot reverting to an overpronated state. Wearing shoes that properly support
the foot, particularly the arch, is one of the most effective treatments for overpronation. Custom-made orthotic inserts can also be very beneficial. They too support the arch and distribute body
weight correctly throughout the foot. Motion-control shoes that prohibit pronation can be worn, so may be useful for those with severe overpronation. One good treatment is to walk barefoot as often
as possible. Not relying on shoes to support the arch will encourage proper muscle use. Practicing yoga can help to correct poor posture and teach you how to stand with your weight balanced evenly
across the whole foot.
HyProCure implant. A stent is placed into a naturally occurring space between the ankle bone and the heel bone/midfoot bone. The stent realigns the surfaces of the bones, allowing normal joint
function. Generally tolerated in both pediatric and adult patients, with or without adjunct soft tissue procedures. Reported removal rates, published in scientific journals vary from 1%-6%.