Pronation is a normal motion that our feet make as they walk. With each step, the heel touches the ground first, then the foot rolls forward to the toes, causing the ankle to roll inward slightly and the arch to flatten out. That’s normal. But when that rolling inward becomes more pronounced, that’s over-pronation, which is a big problem.
You can usually see over-pronation by looking at the back of the leg and foot. The Achilles tendon normally runs straight down from the leg to the foot, hitting the floor at a perpendicular angle. In feet that over-pronate, the Achilles tendon will be at a slight angle to the ground and the ankle bone will appear more prominent than usual.
When the ankles over-pronate, it throws everything out of alignment. The bones in the feet can actually shift over time, and the muscles and tendons in the leg and ankle will twist. This places repetitive stress on the ligaments, tendons, joints and muscles of the foot, which can cause injury.
If your feet are over-pronating, you may notice your muscles feet unusually tired when you way or stand, or they may ache. But symptoms will vary by your weight, age and activity.
Eventually, over-pronation can lead to a full list of maladies including flat feet, plantar fasciitis, plantar fibroma, neuromas, dorsal compression syndrome, 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.
If you show any of the symptoms of over-pronation or your feet hurt, call our office for an appointment at 859-264-1411.