During initial contact or heel strike, the ankle rolls inward, causing excessive pronation or flattening of the foot. This action forces the big toe (instead of the ball of foot and all toes) to do
all the work to push off the ground. When the ankle overpronates, this causes the tibia (shin bone) to rotate and the femur (thigh bone) to adduct (move toward the mid-line of the body), causing
internal rotation or knee valgus (knock-kneed).
Over-pronation is very prominent in people who have flexible, flat feet. The framework of the foot begins to collapse, causing the foot to flatten and adding additional stress to other parts of the
foot. Therefore over-pronation can often lead to a case of Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions. There are many causes of flat feet. Obesity, pregnancy or
repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation. People with flat feet often do not experience discomfort immediately, and some never suffer from any discomfort at
all. However, when symptoms develop and become painful, walking becomes awkward and causes increased strain on the feet and calves.
Symptoms can manifest in many different ways. The associated conditions depend on the individual lifestyle of each patient. Here is a list of some of the conditions associated with Over Pronation.
Hallux Abducto Valgus (bunions). Hallux Rigidus (stiff 1st toe). Arch Pain. Heel Pain (plantar fascitis). Metatarsalgia (ball of the foot pain). Ankle sprains. Shin Splints. Achilles Tendonitis.
Osteochondrosis. Knee Pain. Corns & Calluses. Flat Feet. Hammer Toes.
So, how can you tell if you have overpronation, or abnormal motion in your feet, and what plantar fasciitis treatment will work to correct it? Look at your feet. While standing, do you clearly see
the arch on the inside of your foot? If not, and if the innermost part of your sole touches the floor, then your feet are overpronated. Look at your (running/walking) shoes. If your shoes are more
worn on the inside of the sole in particular, then pronation may be a problem for you. Use the wet foot test. Wet your feet and walk along a section of pavement, then look at the footprints you leave
behind. A normal foot will leave a print of the heel connected to the forefoot by a strip approximately half the width of the foot on the outside of the sole. If you?re feet are pronated there may be
little distinction between the rear and forefoot.
Non Surgical Treatment
Orthotics are medical devices used to provide support to correct a physical abnormality. They can provide arch support when needed to remedy over-pronation, and in this particular cases the orthoses
used are usually convenient shoe inserts. These can be taken in and out of shoes, and will be carefully tailored by your podiatrist to the specifics of your foot. It can take some weeks before the
effects of the inserts can become truly noticeable, and in many cases your podiatrist will want to review your orthotics within a few weeks to make fine adjustments based on how well they have worked
to reduce your pain.
Exercises to strengthen and stretch supporting muscles will help to keep the bones in proper alignment. Duck stance: Stand with your heels together and feet turned out. Tighten the buttock muscles,
slightly tilt your pelvis forwards and try to rotate your legs outwards. You should feel your arches rising while you do this exercise. Calf stretch: Stand facing a wall and place hands on it for
support. Lean forwards until stretch is felt in the calves. Hold for 30 seconds. Bend at knees and hold for a further 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times. Golf ball: While drawing your toes upwards towards
your shins, roll a golf ball under the foot between 30 and 60 seconds. If you find a painful point, keep rolling the ball on that spot for 10 seconds. Big toe push:
Stand with your ankles in a neutral position (without rolling the foot inwards). Push down with your big toe but do not let the ankle roll inwards or the arch collapse. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10
times. Build up to longer times and fewer repetitions. Ankle strengthener: Place a ball between your foot and a wall. Sitting down and keeping your toes pointed upwards, press the outside of the foot
against the ball, as though pushing it into the wall. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times. Arch strengthener: Stand on one foot on the floor. The movements needed to remain balanced will
strengthen the arch. When you are able to balance for 30 seconds, start doing this exercise using a wobble board.