What Is Pronation?

Pronation is a term used to describe the rolling in motion of the foot. It is a normal motion that occurs shortly after the foot contacts the ground. It causes the muscles to relax and the joints to loosen. This allows your foot to adapt to different terrains and absorb shock. Over pronation, however, is not normal. Over pronation occurs when the foot rolls in too much. This causes the ligaments and muscles to become over stretched and the joints to work at unnatural angles. Over pronationis the cause of many painful conditions in the foot ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
How Can I Tell If I Have Over Pronation?
Usually you might experience some pain, discomfort or other symptoms in the feet, legs, knees, hips or lower back. Over pronation can be seen when you look at a person from the back whilst they are standing. You will notice their heels tilt inward quite a lot, you may also see the arch of the foot collapse or flatten. Sometimes a fleshy bulge is noticed on the inner side of the foot just above the arch. Wear patterns on your shoes can also give you a clue as to whether you have over pronation. If you wear out the heels of your shoes very quickly, or wear patterns are concentrated on the inside of the sole of the shoe (heel or front), you may have over pronation. You may also notice that your shoes lean inwards excessively if you place them on a flat surface and look at them from the back.
How Does Over Pronation Affect Your Feet And Body?
Over pronation causes the joints of the foot to remain unlocked and unstable during the toe off phase of walking. This causes the muscles in your feet and legs to become over stretched and they have to act very quickly in an attempt to compensate and stabilise the foot. This in turn causes excessive strain on the muscles and ligaments and they respond by weakening and tightening up. The unnatural angle at which the joints are now working can cause them to become jarred or locked in these unnatural positions. Over pronation also causes the leg to rotate inwards which in turn leads to the knee and thigh rotating inward and ultimately the knee and hip joints working at unnatural angles. If one foot over pronates more than the other, it causes one limb to be lower than the other which can cause strain on your lower back and changes in your spine, including scoliosis.

What Are Some Of The Common Conditions That May Be Associated With Over Pronation?

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Heel Pain
  • Heel spurs
  • Arch Pain
  • Knee pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Achilles tendon problems
  • Bunions
  • Stiff big toe
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Shin splints

These are only a few of the conditions that may be related to over pronation.

Over Pronation Treatment

There are a variety of treatments available for over pronation and the Podiatrists at Jandakot Podiatry usually utilise a combination of them:
Strapping/Taping – provides support and stability for the foot, it may be used in acute cases or as a first line treatment
Exercises – Are used to stretch and strengthen certain muscles in order to improve foot function
Joint mobilisations – Loosens joints that may have become jarred or fixed to loosen to improve foot function
Orthotics – Shoe inserts that prevent over pronation. They support the feet, improve foot function and allow your feet to function at optimum levels.
Speak to one of the Podiatrists at Jandakot Podiatry if you would like to know more about over pronation treatment.