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.
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, causing the muscles and tendons in the leg and ankle to 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 feel unusually tired when you walk or stand, or they may ache. But symptoms will vary by your weight, age and activity.
You may experience symptoms of tiredness and fatigue in your feet earlier than the average person. If you notice that your arches seem to feel sore even after being on your feet for a short period of time, you may be an "over pronator".
You may also feel more knee and back pain at an earlier age because your overall alignment is off and having pronated feet effects all the joints moving up the leg and back!
Eventually, over-pronation can lead to a full list of maladies including:
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.
Don't forget to check out our recommended Shoe Guide for shoes that are doctor approved to help you with your feet!