What does the word “pronation” actually mean? Pronation is a natural and normal movement of the foot that occurs during foot landing while running or walking. Simply put, it’s your ankle and arch rolling or tipping inwards slightly, creating some shock absorption as your foot hits the ground after each step. Having “pronation” in your foot is important and necessary for proper gait, but it’s important to have the right amount of pronation. Not enough or too much pronation can both be bad for your feet.
Complications from Overpronation
Foot and leg problems can, and frequently do, occur when someone suffers from too much pronation. Over-pronators are very common, and usually present with more of a flat and out-of-alignment foot appearance due to the ankle and foot collapsing: the ankle rolls inwards too much, and the arch of the foot stretches flattens too much. The alignment of your foot and ankle also directly affects the alignment of your knee and hip and can be responsible for pain that is further up your body.
Complications and consequences of over pronation can start very young, even in grade school-aged children. Lots of parents will notice their kids’ feet look funny or twisted, run awkwardly, complain of foot and leg fatigue quickly during sport, bones sticking out of the foot in funny places, blisters, or shoes wearing down fast in certain areas. Other times this overpronation can be missed for many years and have no symptoms associated until adulthood. This is when we normally see the further developed changes to the foot that have been from a long time of your foot and ankle not working properly.
Common overpronation problems can include:
- Flat feet
- Fallen arches
- Painful inside or outside of ankles
- Painful plantar fasciitis (arch pain)
- Heel pain
- Achilles Tendon pain
- Shin splints
- Bunion formation
- Hammer toes
- Corns and callouses on the bottom of the foot
- Funny looking walk
- Arthritis/stiff joints in foot
If you think your foot is over-pronating, or you think your foot or ankle look misaligned, don’t ignore this! It’s extremely important to catch this as early as possible to avoid permanent changes and chronic pain in your feet.
Treatment Options for Overpronation
- Custom Foot Orthotics: This is the gold standard for the correction and alignment of foot overpronation. They will lift your arches up, reduce pressure points, straighten your ankle alignment and allow your foot to function properly, letting all the joints work as they should and heal chronic pain you may be experiencing. By correcting your feet, we also correct the alignment issues up the body (ankle, knee, and hip), addressing pain in these regions as well.
- Shoe Advice: In many cases, a shoe change is in order. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can make overpronation worse. There are different kinds of shoes with sturdy soles and ankle support that can actually prevent the foot from tipping inwards too much while you wear them.
- Shockwave Therapy: If you are already suffering with pain in your arches, heels or Achilles tendon; then shockwave therapy is a fantastic treatment option to boost your natural healing rate. This coupled with custom foot orthotics have outstanding results in decreasing pain and getting you back to work, playing your favorite sport, ready for your walking holiday, and much more. To find out more about shockwave, click here.
- Ankle Braces: In severe cases, extra ankle support can be important to give additional external support. This may be more necessary for someone playing sports like: basketball, squash, tennis, volleyball etc.
- Physiotherapy: When your foot and ankle have been out of alignment for so long, muscle weakness is very common in the foot and up the leg. Physiotherapy can help address these weak areas, and build you a strengthening exercise program to get those muscles stronger and working, as they should.
If you think you have overpronation in your feet and ankles, or if you’re not sure, book a biomechanical appointment with the Chiropodist at Footprint Health and Wellness Centre today! Learn more about your feet, and find out what they need to keep them happy and healthy.
Footprint Health and Wellness Centre is a multi-disciplinary clinic located in South Barrie, offering chiropody, physiotherapy, and massage therapy services. Book your appointment now!
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