It is important to note that pronation is not wrong or bad for you. In fact, our feet need to pronate and supinate to achieve proper gait. Pronation (rolling inwards) absorbs shock and supination
(rolling outwards) propels our feet forward. It is our body?s natural shock-absorbing mechanism. The problem is over-pronation i.e. the pronation movement goes too deep and lasts for too long, which
hinders the foot from recovering and supinating. With every step, excess pronation impedes your natural walking pattern, causing an imbalance in the body and consequent excessive wear and tear in
joints, muscles and ligaments. Some common complaints associated with over-pronation include Heel Pain and or plantar fasciitis, ball of foot pain, achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee pain, lower
There are many possible causes for overpronation, but researchers have not yet determined one underlying cause. Hintermann states, Compensatory overpronation may occur for anatomical reasons, such as
a tibia vara of 10 degrees or more, forefoot varus, leg length discrepancy, ligamentous laxity, or because of muscular weakness or tightness in the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Pronation can be
influenced by sources outside of the body as well. Shoes have been shown to significantly influence pronation. Hintermann states that the same person can have different amounts of pronation just by
using different running shoes. It is easily possible that the maximal ankle joint eversion movement is 31 degrees for one and 12 degrees for another running shoe.
With over pronation, sufferers are most likely to experience pain through the arch of the foot. A lack of stability is also a common complaint. Over pronation also causes the foot to turn outward
during movement at the ankle, causing sufferers to walk along the inner portion of the foot. This not only can deliver serious pain through the heel and ankle, but it can also be the cause of pain in
the knees or lower back as well. This condition also causes the arch to sink which places stress on the bones, ligaments, and tendons throughout the foot. This may yield other common conditions of
foot pain such as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
When sitting, an over-pronating foot appears quite normal, i.e. showing a normal arch with room under the underside of the foot. The moment you get up and put weight on your feet the situation
changes: the arches lower and the ankle slightly turns inwards. When you walk or run more weight is placed on the feet compared to standing and over-pronation will become more evident. When walking
barefoot on tiles or timber floors over-pronation is more visible, compared to walking on carpet or grass.
Non Surgical Treatment
Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively (non-surgical treatments) with over-the-counter orthotics. These orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rearfoot posting to
prevent the over-pronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Improper fitting
footwear can lead to additional problems of the foot. If the problem persists, call your doctor to schedule an appointment.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgeon may recommend one or more treatment options. Ultimately, however, it's YOUR decision as to which makes the most sense to you. There are many
resources available online and elsewhere for you to research the various options and make an informed decision.