Pronation, in anatomical terms, means to rotate, and it applies to any rotational movement of a bone. Pronation in the feet involves an inward rolling of the foot throughout the gait which helps with
the transfer of force. Normally the foot will move from the heel to the toes with only a small degree of pronation, with a slight inward roll from the outside of the heel to the inside of the foot
which helps to support the body weight. Normal pronation involves the rolling of the foot to approximately 15 degrees. If you have normal foot arches, you are likely to be a neutral runner and will
most likely pronate normally.
A common cause of pronation is heredity - we can inherit this biomechanical defect. The second most common cause is due to the way our feet were positioned in the uterus while we were developing;
this is called a congenital defect. In either instance, the following occurs in our feet during our development.
Overpronation can lead to injuries and pain in the foot, ankle, knee, or hip. Overpronation puts extra stress on all the bones in the feet. The repeated stress on the knees, shins, thighs, and pelvis
puts additional stress on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the lower leg. This can put the knee, hip, and back out of alignment, and it can become very painful.
Pronounced wear on the instep side of shoe heels can indicate overpronation, however it's best to get an accurate assessment. Footbalance retailers offer a free foot analysis to check for
overpronation and help you learn more about your feet.
Non Surgical Treatment
If pronation is diagnosed before the age of five it can usually be treated in such a manner that the bones and joints will be aligned properly as growth continues. This may prevent the arch from
collapsing, as well as allowing the muscles of the leg to enter the foot without twisting. With proper and early treatment, the foot will not turn out at the ankle, and the child?s gait will improve.
Treatment for pronation in children may include: night braces, custom-made orthotics, and exercises. These treatments usually continue until growth is complete, and then the adult may need to wear
custom-made orthotics to prevent the pronation from returning (the foot, as every other part of our body, tends to return to its original form if preventive measures are not taken). One side note:
frequently, pediatricians will wait too long, hoping that the child will ?outgrow? the problem. By the time they realize that the child?s feet will not improve, it is too late to change the foot. In
these cases, custom-made orthotics is used to prevent the pronation from becoming worse.
Custom-made orthotics supports not only the arch as a whole, but also each individual bone and joint that forms the arch. It is not enough to use an over-the-counter arch support, as these generic
devices will not provide the proper support to each specific structure of the arch and foot. Each pronated foot?s arch collapses differently and to different degrees. The only way to provide the
support that you may need is with a custom-made device. This action of the custom-made orthotic will help to prevent heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, calluses, arch pain, and weakness of the entire