Excessive pronation is a common fault that occurs with the dynamic structure of the foot. Some degree of pronation is necessary for shock absorption. Excessive pronation, or collapsing of the arch,
limits the foot?s ability to efficiently support the weight of the body. The altered position of the foot and ankle complex that occurs with high degrees of pronation also forces the rest of the
lower body out of alignment. This can cause mechanical problems in muscles and joints traveling all the way up to the back. Arch strengthening is a vital part of maintaining healthy feet.
During our development, the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissue structures that hold our bones together at the joints become looser than normal. When the bones are not held tightly in place,
the joints are not aligned properly, and the foot gradually turns outward at the ankle, causing the inner ankle bone to appear more prominent. The foot moves in this direction because it is the path
of least resistance. It is more difficult for the foot to move in the opposite direction (this is called supination). As we develop, the muscles and ligaments accommodate to this abnormal alignment.
By the time growth is complete, the pronated foot is: abnormally flexible, flat, and its outer border appears raised so that as you step down you do not come down equally across the entire foot;
instead, you come down mostly on the inner border of the foot. Normal aging will produce further laxity of our muscles that causes the pronation to become gradually worse.
Overpronation can lead to injuries and pain in the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Overpronation puts extra stress on all the bones in the feet. The repeated stress on the knees, shins, thighs, and pelvis
puts additional stress on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the lower leg. This can put the knee, hip, and back out of alignment, and it can become very painful.
One of the easiest ways to determine if you overpronate is to look at the bottom of your shoes. Overpronation causes disproportionate wear on the inner side of the shoe. Another way to tell if you
might overpronate is to have someone look at the back of your legs and feet, while you are standing. The Achilles tendon runs from the calf muscle to the heel bone, and is visible at the back of the
ankle. Normally it runs in a straight line down to the heel. An indication of overpronation is if the tendon is angled to the outside of the foot, and the bone on the inner ankle appears to be more
prominent than the outer anklebone. There might also be a bulge visible on the inside of the foot when standing normally. A third home diagnostic test is called the ?wet test?. Wet your foot and
stand on a surface that will show an imprint, such as construction paper, or a sidewalk. You overpronate if the imprint shows a complete impression of your foot (as opposed to there being a space
where your arch did not touch the ground).
Non Surgical Treatment
Supportive orthotics in the shoe is a method commonly implemented to treat many common running injuries associated with pronation. An advantage of orthotics is that they often allow the sufferer to
continue to participate in athletic activity and avoid other treatment options that could be potentially costly and time consuming. Seventy-five percent of injured runners are successfully treated
with the prescription of orthoses. Orthotics are the most effective treatment for symptoms that develop from unusual biomechanics within the body such as overpronation, resulting in either great
improvement or complete healing of the injury in about half the cases.
Custom-made orthotics supports not only the arch as a whole, but also each individual bone and joint that forms the arch. It is not enough to use an over-the-counter arch support, as these generic
devices will not provide the proper support to each specific structure of the arch and foot. Each pronated foot?s arch collapses differently and to different degrees. The only way to provide the
support that you may need is with a custom-made device. This action of the custom-made orthotic will help to prevent heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, calluses, arch pain, and weakness of the entire