Foot pronation, is the way the foot rolls inward when you walk and run. It is often observed as inward tilting of the ankles and flattening of the arches, and is a normal part of walking and running to help the lower leg deal with shock. Some people pronate more than others, this is known as over pronation and can lead to foot, ankle, or even knee pain. There are a large number of factors that can cause an incorrect gait and over pronation such as genetics, poor footwear, historic injuries, structural misalignment and exercise habits. At The Walking Clinic, we can prescribe the right pronation treatment to get you back on your feet and pain free. Let’s take a look at some of the ways to treat and manage pronation.
Stretches are a great tool for managing pronation as they can improve areas that are overly tight such as the calf muscles or Achilles tendon. Exercises that stretch the calf, turn on the glutes and raise the arches of the foot have been shown to be the most effective. To get assistance and direction with your stretches and treatment it is advised you consult your podiatrist.
Shoe Inserts and Orthotics
One of the best techniques for treating and managing gait problems is the use of shoe inserts or orthotics that are designed to address over pronation specifically. While shoe inserts can be bought over the counter from pharmacies, custom orthotics created by a podiatrist after proper consultation and gait analysis will usually be far more effective. Custom orthotics will provide additional arch support for over pronators and although there is more involved and often a much higher cost to this option, it has the benefit of being completely custom and more targeted to treating and aligning your specific foot problem.
Wearing quality, comfortable and supportive shoes should always be a priority whether you have a foot condition or not, however, if you do suffer from a condition such as over pronation, wearing footwear designed specifically for your feet can make an enormous difference in the way your feet and legs feel on a daily basis and go a long way in treating the problem. There is a wide range of degrees of over-pronation and as such, there are many different types of footwear to choose from. Minimum support shoes, moderate support shoes and maximum support shoes are all designed for feet, which need some guidance to steer the foot along a path of neutral pronation. Moderate motion control shoes and maximum motion control shoes are designed for the most excessive degrees of over-pronation and work to control the motion of the foot. These types of shoes have built in extra arch support and cushioning at different levels specifically designed to support and treat different degrees of over pronation.
If moving to a shoe that treats over pronation it is important to be aware of possible discomfort as your foot needs to readjust and break the old habits. When trying and buying shoes for pronation support, bring with you to the shop anything you wear with your shoes, this includes your usual socks and any orthotic inserts. Shoes often fit differently with the addition of an orthotic insert so it is important you try all new shoes with them in. If you think you are suffering from over pronation the best way to find out is to visit a podiatrist who can do a full gait analysis. It is not only the amount of over pronation which is important but the timing of it during the gait cycle as well that needs to be assessed. Book a consultation with a podiatrist at The Walking Clinic today. We can do a full analysis of your gait and work with you to prescribe the right pronation treatment for you. Contact us online to book an appointment now.