Pronation is the natural way that our feet absorb shock: when our feet strike the ground the arches flex down and in to disperse the impact. Everyone pronates! Contrary to popular misconception it is
healthy and normal. The problem begins when one or both of our feet pronate too much. When the arches flex too far inward or stay collapsed for too long pronation is considered excessive. We call
this overpronation. The amount of overpronation can vary from mild to severe. In severe overpronation the feet and ankles can rotate too far inward just during standing.
Although there are many factors that can contribute to the development of these conditions, improper biomechanics of the body plays a large and detrimental role in the process. Of the many
biomechanical elements involved, foot and ankle function perhaps contribute the most to these aches and pains.
Not all foot injuries affecting runners are necessarily down to a particular running gait; it is rarely that simple to diagnose how a foot problem developed . Simply being an overpronator does not
mean that a foot injury has been caused by the running gait and it could be due to a number of factors. However mild to severe overpronators tend to be at a higher risk of developing musculoskeletal
problems due to the increased stresses and strains which are placed on the body when the foot does not move in an optimum manner. The following injuries are frequently due to overpronation of the
feet. Tarsal tunnel syndrome. Shin splints. Anterior compartment syndrome. Plantar fasciitis. Achilles tendonitis. Bunions. Sesamoiditis. Stress fractures. Back and hip pain. Ankle pain.
Pronounced wear on the instep side of shoe heels can indicate overpronation, however it's best to get an accurate assessment. Footbalance retailers offer a free foot analysis to check for
overpronation and help you learn more about your feet.
Non Surgical Treatment
If pronation is diagnosed before the age of five it can usually be treated in such a manner that the bones and joints will be aligned properly as growth continues. This may prevent the arch from
collapsing, as well as allowing the muscles of the leg to enter the foot without twisting. With proper and early treatment, the foot will not turn out at the ankle, and the child?s gait will improve.
Treatment for pronation in children may include: night braces, custom-made orthotics, and exercises. These treatments usually continue until growth is complete, and then the adult may need to wear
custom-made orthotics to prevent the pronation from returning (the foot, as every other part of our body, tends to return to its original form if preventive measures are not taken). One side note:
frequently, pediatricians will wait too long, hoping that the child will ?outgrow? the problem. By the time they realize that the child?s feet will not improve, it is too late to change the foot. In
these cases, custom-made orthotics is used to prevent the pronation from becoming worse.
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.