Foot Problems - Pronation

What is pronation?

One of the most common causes of foot and leg discomfort is a condition known as excessive pronation. Normal pronation, or “turning inwards”, of the foot is necessary as the foot adapts to the ground. With excessive pronation, however, the arch flattens then collapses, and soft tissue stretches. This causes the joint surfaces to function at unnatural angles to each other.  When this happens, joints that should have been stable now become very loose and flexible.  At first, excessive pronation may cause foot fatigue.  As the problem gets worse, strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the foot and lower leg can cause permanent problems and deformities.

Common signs of excess pronation:

  1. When standing, your heels lean inwards.
  2. When standing, one or both of your knee caps turn inwards.
  3. The bottom of your foot aches or you develop bunions.
  4.  You develop knee pain when you are active or involved in athletics. The knee pain slowly goes away when you rest.
  5. You abnormally wear out the soles and heels of your shoes very quickly.

A Successful treatment:

PronationPronation Excessive pronation (Fig. A)can be controlled or reduced.  Your Podiatrist will prescribe treatment that brings the joints of the foot back into a more normal position, thus increasing arch stability and decreasing irritation between the bones involved.

The most successful treatment for excessive pronation is the use of prescription orthotics.

Orthotics are medical appliances that are custom Pronation made to correct your excessive pronation and are quite different from the off the shelf “arch supports” available from chemists.  Made from high-impact thermoplastics, orthotics fit comfortably in your shoes.  As you wear them, they gently hold your feet in their proper position (Fig. B) for comfortable standing or walking.  The use of orthotics also eliminates the painful symptoms often associated with pronation.

Your feet are the base for your entire body.  If you ignore the problems in your feet, they will often get worse and affect the rest of your body.  Proper treatment for excessive pronation will improve the function of your entire musculoskeletal system.  You will feel better all over!