Pronation describes a slight inward rolling motion the foot makes during a normal walking or running stride. The foot (and ankle) roles slightly inward to accommodate movement. Some people, however,
over-pronate and roll more than normal. With over-pronation, the arch of the foot flattens and causes excessive stress and pressure on the soft tissues of the foot. Over-pronation is more common in
those with flat feet, and can lead to foot aches and pain, such as plantar fasciitis, Shin Splints and Knee Pain.
Unless there is a severe, acute injury, overpronation develops as a gradual biomechanical distortion. Several factors contribute to developing overpronation, including tibialis posterior weakness,
ligament weakness, excess weight, pes planus (flat foot), genu valgum (knock knees), subtalar eversion, or other biomechanical distortions in the foot or ankle. Tibialis posterior weakness is one of
the primary factors leading to overpronation. Pronation primarily is controlled by the architecture of the foot and eccentric activation of the tibialis posterior. If the tibialis posterior is weak,
the muscle cannot adequately slow the natural pronation cycle.
Over-pronation is a condition where the arch flattens out which makes the feet roll inward while walking. This condition is also known as flat feet. It imposes extreme additional stresses on the
plantar fascia, a fibrous band of tissue which connects the heel to the forefoot. Over-pronation makes walking a painful experience because of the additional strain on the calves, heel and/or back.
Treatment for over-pronation involves the use of specially-made orthotics which offers arch support and medial rear foot posting as corrective measures.
Bunions, calluses and crooked toes may indicate alignment problems. So, it is important to ascertain the condition of a client's toes. Check the big toe to determine if the first joint of the toe is
swollen, has a callus or bunion, and/or looks as though it abducts (i.e., hallux valgus) rather than pointing straight ahead. Also, look to see if the lesser toes seem to "curl up" (i.e., the person
has hammer or claw toes). This may be indicative of damage to, or inflexibility of the plantar fascia caused by excessive flattening of the foot.
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.
With every step we take, we place at least half of our body weight on each foot (as we walk faster, or run, we can exert more than twice our body weight on each foot). As this amount of weight is
applied to each foot there is a significant shock passed on to our body. Custom-made orthotics will absorb some of this shock, helping to protect our feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.