During initial contact or heel strike, the ankle rolls inward, causing excessive pronation or flattening of the foot. This action forces the big toe (instead of the ball of foot and all toes) to do
all the work to push off the ground. When the ankle overpronates, this causes the tibia (shin bone) to rotate and the femur (thigh bone) to adduct (move toward the mid-line of the body), causing
internal rotation or knee valgus (knock-kneed).
Over-pronation has different causes. Obesity, pregnancy, age or repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. Over-pronation is also very common with athletes,
especially runners and most of them nowadays use orthotics inside their shoes. Over-pronation affects millions of people and contributes to a range of common complaints including sore, aching feet,
ball of foot pain, heel Pain, achilles tendonitis, bunions, shin pain, tired, aching legs, knee pain and lower back pain. The most effective treatment solution for over-pronation is wearing an
orthotic shoe insert. Orthotics correct over-pronation, thereby providing natural, lasting pain relief from many common biomechanical complaints.
Eventually, over-pronation can lead to a full list of maladies including flat feet, plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, neuromas, heel spurs, shin splints, ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes,
calluses, and pain in the arches, knee, hip and lower back. But it doesn?t have to go that far, because there are steps we can take to correct the over-pronation. In the vast majority of cases, we?ll
prescribe custom foot orthotics, which will realign your ankles, redistribute the weight, support the arch and reduce the twisting. Many orthotics will fit snugly into your normal shoes. Although
we?ll also take a look at the type of shoes you wear to see if they are contributing to the problem.
Firstly, look at your feet in standing, have you got a clear arch on the inside of the foot? If there is not an arch and the innermost part of the sole touches the floor, then your feet are
over-pronated. Secondly, look at your running shoes. If they are worn on the inside of the sole in particular, then pronation may be a problem for you. Thirdly, try the wet foot test. Wet your feet
and walk along a section of paving and look at the footprints you leave. A normal foot will leave a print of the heel, connected to the forefoot by a strip approximately half the width of the foot on
the outside of the sole. If you?re feet are pronated there may be little distinction between the rear and forefoot, shown opposite. The best way to determine if you over pronate is to visit a
podiatrist or similar who can do a full gait analysis on a treadmill or using forceplates measuring exactly the forces and angles of the foot whilst running. It is not only the amount of over
pronation which is important but the timing of it during the gait cycle as well that needs to be assessed.
Non Surgical Treatment
Adequate footwear can often help with conditions related to flat feet and high arches. Certified Pedorthists recommend selecting shoes featuring heel counters that make the heel of the shoe stronger
to help resist or reduce excessive rearfoot motions. The heel counter is the hard piece in the back of the shoe that controls the foot?s motion from side-to-side. You can quickly test the
effectiveness of a shoe?s heel counter by placing the shoe in the palm of your hand and putting your thumb in the mid-portion of the heel, trying to bend the back of the shoe. A heel counter that
does not bend very much will provide superior motion control. Appropriate midsole density, the firmer the density, the more it will resist motion (important for a foot that overpronates or is pes
planus), and the softer the density, the more it will shock absorb (important for a cavus foot with poor shock absorption) Wide base of support through the midfoot, to provide more support under a
foot that is overpronated or the middle of the foot is collapsed inward.
Wear supportive shoes. If we're talking runners you're going to fall in the camp of needing 'motion control' shoes or shoes built for 'moderate' or 'severe' pronators. There are many good brands of
shoes out there. Don't just wear these running, the more often the better. Make slow changes. Sudden changes in your training will aggravate your feet more than typical. Make sure you slowly increase
your running/walking distance, speed and even how often you go per week. Strengthen your feet. As part of your running/walking warm up or just as part of a nightly routine try a few simple exercises
to strengthen your feet, start with just ten of each and slowly add more sets and intensity. Stand facing a mirror and practice raising your arch higher off the ground without lifting your toes. Sit
with a towel under your feet, scrunch your toes and try to pull the towel in under your feet. Sitting again with feet on the ground lift your heels as high as you can, then raise and lower on to toe