Over-pronation describes a characteristic gait wherein a lack of sufficient support from the arch of the foot causes it to roll inwards as weight is placed on it. The long arch of the foot is
actually a very important structure in terms of our gait and how we walk, it is responsible for ensuring that as our weight rolls from the heel to the balls of our feet it does so in a straight line
that doesn?t place undue stress on the ankle or knees. Unfortunately when a person?s arch is not pronounced enough, or even simply not there (a condition called flat footedness), there isn?t enough
arch support to maintain a healthy, forward motion of the foot.
There may be several possible causes of over pronation. The condition may begin as early as birth. However, there are several more common explanations for the condition. First, wear and tear on the
muscles throughout the foot, either from aging or repetitive strain, causes the muscles to weaken, thereby causing the foot to turn excessively inward. Also, standing or walking on high heels for an
extended period of time also places strain and pressure on the foot which can weaken the tissue. Lastly, shoes play a very common factor in the development of over pronation. Shoes that fail to
provide adequate support through the arch commonly lead to over pronation.
Common conditions seen with overpronation include heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Achilles tendonopathy. Hallus Valgus and/or bunions. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Iliotibial band pain syndrome. Low
back pain. Shin splints. Stress fractures in the foot or lower leg.
Firstly, look at your feet in standing, have you got a clear arch on the inside of the foot? If there is not an arch and the innermost part of the sole touches the floor, then your feet are
over-pronated. Secondly, look at your running shoes. If they are worn on the inside of the sole in particular, then pronation may be a problem for you. Thirdly, try the wet foot test. Wet your feet
and walk along a section of paving and look at the footprints you leave. A normal foot will leave a print of the heel, connected to the forefoot by a strip approximately half the width of the foot on
the outside of the sole. If you?re feet are pronated there may be little distinction between the rear and forefoot, shown opposite. The best way to determine if you over pronate is to visit a
podiatrist or similar who can do a full gait analysis on a treadmill or using forceplates measuring exactly the forces and angles of the foot whilst running. It is not only the amount of over
pronation which is important but the timing of it during the gait cycle as well that needs to be assessed.
Non Surgical Treatment
If you overpronate, you should talk with a foot and ankle specialist, especially if symptoms have not developed yet. Questions you may want to ask your doctor include what are the best running shoes
on the market? Where can I find those shoes? If over-the-counter orthotics don?t work, how long should I wait before contacting you for custom-made orthotics? On my next visit, what type of
diagnostic testing should I expect? If I limit the amount of time I spend running, will my overpronation symptoms disappear? What additional treatment options can we try?
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.