Pronation is a natural movement and part of a healthy functioning foot action when running or walking.
Normal pronation allows the foot to absorb your body weight and the impact forces that occur when the foot strikes the ground.
Healthy pronation also assists the foot in delivering optimal muscle power during activity. But when pronation is either excessive or insufficient, you can run into problems.
What Are The Symptoms Of Over Pronation?
The most common symptoms of over pronation range from dull aches to severe shooting pains. Foot or leg pain is usually worse during or after activities such as running or walking. These pains frequently worsen over time.
You may also experience increased stiffness in your foot, ankle, knee and hip joints.
Sometimes one foot may pronate more than another, which effectively makes one leg shorter than another and can lead to lower back pain and spine deformation.
If you stand in front of a mirror you may notice that your feet are very flat (no or very low arches). You may also notice a flesh bulge on the side of the foot above the arch.
Your shoes will often provide another obvious telltale sign of pronation difficulties. If the soles of your running shoes have worn excessively on the ankle side (especially at the heel), it’s a telltale sign of over pronation. Place your running shoes on a flat surface and you’ll notice that lean inwards.
What Is Pronation, Why Can It Be A Problem?
When running or walking, the heel strikes the ground and as the rest of your foot comes into contact with the ground the foot rolls inwards, the joints and muscles soften and release.
This absorbs the impact forces and your body weight and prepares the front of the foot for propelling you forward on the next step.
In normal foot pronation, the foot might roll inwards by as much as 15%. Problems can occur when a foot displays excess pronation (rolling too far inwards) or if the foot doesn’t pronate sufficiently.
As the foot collapses unnaturally it causes ankle strain and the lower leg to rotate placing excessive pressure on the knee joints, which then also start to twist abnormally. This then places the hips under abnormal pressure.
These excessive forces can create significant strain on the ligaments, muscles and joints throughout the feet, knees, legs, hips and lower back that can cause considerable pain and injury.
Without treatment, these conditions can become extremely painful and debilitating and may have a severe impact on your daily life and sporting activities. Over pronation frequently results in one of the most common running injuries: shin splints.
Pronation problems may lead to a wide range of conditions including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel Pain & Heel spurs
- Shin splints
- Arch Pain & Achilles tendon problems
- Bunions (Hallux abducto valgus)
- Knee, hip & Lower back pain
- Metatarsalgia or Morton’s neuroma
It’s important to seek immediate treatment for pronation problems because severe untreated pronation problems can lead to permanent deformities and ongoing pain.
One of our experienced podiatrists will very quickly identify the problem using state of the art diagnostic tools including video gait analysis.
We can then outline a range of solutions that will quickly have you back on your feet again.
What’s The Best Treatment For Over Pronation?
Our experienced podiatrists will take the time to make a thorough examination using video gait analysis and provide an accurate diagnosis.
The podiatrist will usually suggest a range of treatments depending on the precise cause, degree of severity and location of symptoms.
Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs can help reduce pain and inflammation. Strapping, Taping, or adding dense foam rubber cushioning can assist with arch support and provide extra cushioning and stability.
Strengthening and stretching exercises can help stabilize weaker areas and help achieve a healthier foot, knee and hip function.
Joint mobilization can increase flexibility and mobility in joints that have stiffened.
Custom Orthotics designed to fit you and your shoes will prevent over pronation from occurring. We will recommend custom orthotics if analysis shows that your gait or other mechanical misalignment is triggering a significant pronation issue that cannot be remedied with other means.
Custom orthotics, designed to fit your running shoes, ensure that your feet, ankles, knees and legs will function at optimal levels.
Using the right shoes can help reduce running injuries and medial tibial stress syndrome.
Erica Dash podiatrists may also recommend other gentle healing therapies such as shockwave therapy or dry needling services to speed your recovery.
Don’t let pronation issues get you down. Talk to the experts at Erica Dash podiatry; you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be back doing the activities you love.
Shockwave is a great alternative to treatments such as dry needling if you’re needle phobic and not keen on dry needling. We also have effective treatment offers for kids.