Fallen Arches - Excessive Pronation
Excessive pronation occurs when body weight is transferred from the heel to the forefoot and the foot rolls inwards when taking a step.
What are excessively pronated feet?
Pronation simply means to take up a prone position and is usually applied to the arm where are ability to rotate our joints at the elbow allows us to twist our hands into a supine (palm up) or supine (palm down) poison. However some feet are more prone than others, such as flat feet, in that the plantar surface makes more ground contact.
As we walk our feet should go through phases where they are more prone and then less prone. Generally the foot should have the lowest arch profile just as the heel lifts off the ground. Some people make their foot far more prone than they should, while others make their foot more prone at the wrong time. These people are referred to as over-pronators, excess pronators or hyper-pronators.
The problem with hyper-pronation is it has never been officially defined.
Have I got excessively pronated feet?
As the foot is always prone (plantar surface down) to the ground when we stand on our feet it makes diagnosis difficult. The problem is that different individuals and different activities require different amounts of pronation, so deciding how much is too much can be difficult.
Essentially people who hyper-pronate have a normal foot profile when they are not weight bearing, but on standing and or when walking or sometimes just running, they make their foot roll inwards too much, cause their arch to flatten too much and their forefoot to splay too much. This is complicated by the fact some people will just do one or two of these movements too much rather than all of them.
Hyper-pronation has been shown to correlate with many muscle, ligament and joint injuries in the lower limb and even the back, but this correlation seems to be very individual.
How can I treat hyper-pronation?
It is good to get some professional advice on this problem to see if it is linked to any persistent musculoskeletal pain you get, although trying some simple contoured insoles such as the Healthystep insole can give you an indication as to whether your symptoms are linked to hyper-pronation.
For more complicated cases you will find an insole adjusted to your needs or a custom insole will serve you best, especially when combined with exercises. Strengthening and stretching appropriate muscles can sometimes resolve your hyper-pronation issue.
Similarly, pains associated with increased weight bearing activity in the lower limbs and back is often associated with hyper-pronation, so trying a simple insole such as the heelfixkit and Healthystep insole and the simple exercises here should help. Please note some feet under pronate and that can also cause pain.
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Each of our orthoses has been developed with specific medical conditions in mind. We offer primary products per condition, though several others have been found to help patients given the biomechanical engineering behind them.