17 Dec Pronated Foot Treatment
What is Overpronation?
If you’ve ever bought running shoes or had a podiatrist examine your gait, you may have heard the word “pronation.” If you’re not sure what that is or why you should be concerned about it, read on for some pointers on pronation.
1. What is Pronation?
Pronation is a normal process. It allows our feet to absorb the impact of walking or running. As the heel strikes the ground, the arch stretches out, pulling down the front of the foot to spread the impact around the foot and lessen its shock.
Supination is when the foot rolls to the side. Like pronation, it’s a normal movement that helps stabilize the foot as it absorbs impact.
2. Problems with Pronation
Some people suffer from excess pronation or overpronation. That can lead to serious foot, leg and back problems.
If you overpronate, you start to walk on the inner edge of your foot. This puts enormous strain on your ligaments and muscles. It also throws your muscular alignment off and makes your gait unsteady.
Over time, you’ll experience an overall drop in your endurance and your ability to walk or run. Pronation puts a lot of stress on your muscles and tendons. If left untreated, it can lead to serious foot problems including:
- Corns and calluses.
- Plantar fasciitis.
- Achilles tendonitis.
- Weak or fallen arches.
- Shin splints.
- Ankle sprains.
- Chronic back, leg, and hip pain.
3. Who’s at Risk for Pronation Problems?
- People born with flat feet or weak arches.
- Women who are pregnant.
- Runners and athletes who repeatedly run on hard surfaces.
- People with extended use of poorly fitted footwear.
4. Diagnosing Overpronation
Check your arches. If you suspect that you may be overpronating, the first thing to do is to check your arches. Place your bare feet flat on the floor and examine the arch. Is it lifted? Is it flat to the floor? If there’s no space between the sole of your foot and the floor, you may have a pronation problem.
Check your shoes. Take a good look at the running or walking shoes that you use most often. Hold them up to eye level. If the soles show a definite inward tilt, you may be overpronating. Excessive wear on the balls of the shoes is another sign.
Visit a podiatrist. A podiatrist can perform a gait test. This often involves having you walk or run on a treadmill or using instruments called force plates. These measure the amount and timing of your pronation to help your doctor determine if you have a problem.
5. Treating Overpronation
Once a doctor has diagnosed your overpronation, you may be prescribed a course of treatment that includes all or some of the following.
Supportive shoes. If you suffer from overpronation, it’s important to wear shoes that provide good heel, arch, and medial support. This is especially true of your workout or running shoes. Look for shoes with high levels of support and stability that will cushion the impact your feet receive.
Custom orthotics. Orthotics can help correct the way your feet receive and distribute the impact of the shock. These orthotics will give you the medial and arch support you need, lessen pain and help correct your gait. At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we use 3D imaging to create orthotics with a perfect fit.
Exercises to strengthen the arches. The right exercise regimen will strengthen both the arches and the muscles surrounding them. A podiatrist or physical therapist can recommend a simple, daily routine that will help correct your overpronation.
Prevent Pronation and Other Foot Problems
Proper foot care can prevent problems with overpronation and other foot problems. To make sure your feet stay healthy, follow these tips.
- Always wear supportive, well-fitting shoes.
- Let your feet breathe by going barefoot whenever possible.
- Pay attention to any signs of heel pain or other foot pain.
- See a podiatrist for regular foot health checkups.
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we treat every foot problem that walks in. We’re proud to be one of the top podiatrists in the Sterling and Loudoun County areas. If you have any concerns about your feet, call us today.