It is estimated that around 80% of the population suffer from excessive pronation. This condition is common in all types of people from children to the elderly and from top athletes to people with a
sedentary lifestyle. The feet become misaligned and combined with poor posture roll inwards to gain ground contact, the arches become flattened producing the condition known as excessive pronation.
When the feet are excessively pronated a combination of poor posture and diminished shock absorption results in some areas of the feet being subjected to excessive stress and pressure. This can lead
to various conditions including knee and back problems, as well as foot problems and deformities.
Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The framework of the foot begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten and adding additional stress to other parts of the
foot. Therefore over-pronation can often lead to a case of Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions. There are many causes of flat feet. Obesity, pregnancy or
repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. People with flat feet often do not experience discomfort immediately, and some never suffer from any discomfort at
all. However, when symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and calves.
Because pronation is a twisting of the foot, all of the muscles and tendons which run from the leg and ankle into the foot will be twisted. In over-pronation, resulting laxity of the soft tissue
structures of the foot and loosened joints cause the bones of the feet shift. When this occurs, the muscles which attach to these bones must also shift, or twist, in order to attach to these bones.
The strongest and most important muscles that attach to our foot bones come from our lower leg. So, as these muscles course down the leg and across the ankle, they must twist to maintain their proper
attachments in the foot. Injuries due to poor biomechanics and twisting of these muscles due to over-pronation include: shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, generalized tendonitis, fatigue, muscle
aches and pains, cramps, ankle sprains, and loss of muscular efficiency (reducing walking and running speed and endurance). Foot problems due to over-pronation include: bunions, heel spurs, plantar
fasciitis, fallen and painful arches, hammer toes, and calluses.
When you overpronate your foot rolls inwards causing the lower leg to rotate inwards too. It's thought that this increases stress on the soft tissues of the lower leg causing pain and inflammation,
or more commonly known as shin splints.
Non Surgical Treatment
Heel counters that make the heel of the shoe stronger to help resist/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.
Wearing the proper footwear plays a key role as a natural way to help pronation. Pronated feet need shoes that fit well, provide stability, contain supportive cushioning, are comfortable and allow
enough room for your foot to move without causing pain or discomfort. Putting special inner heel wedges, known as orthotics, into your shoes can support a flatfoot while lowering risks of developing
tendinitis, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. More extensive cases may require specially fitted orthopaedic shoes that support the arches.