Orthotics, Problem feet and Overpronation

As the summer approaches physio clinics become busy seeing people with problem feet. Often this is due to people spending their whole day walking in sandals with little or no arch support. This can lead to heel pain or a problem commonly known as plantar fasciitis. This is a condition which is more common in people with very high arches or flat feet. It also occurs frequently in people who excessively pronate.

 

Overpronation

 

Excessive or over pronation happens when individuals roll their feet inward too much. It occurs when the weight of the body is shifted from the heel to the toes when walking or running, causing the foot to roll inward. Pronation is a natural part of walking or running, but becomes a problem when the inward roll is extreme. Pronation also occurs when standing, as the foot rolls inward and the bottom of the foot, or arch, becomes flat. Over pronation can lead to increase stress on the muscles and connective tissues of the foot like the plantar fascia.

 

Injuries from overpronation

 

Muscles higher up the leg like the shin muscles can also be subject to increased stress and injuries such as shin splints can occur. The increased stress can cause strains and microtears that eventually lead to inflammation and pain in the tissues.

Over pronation can also cause patella-femoral pain syndrome or pain in the knee cap. This is due to excessive rotation of the tibia and femur ( leg bones) as a result of the overpronation.

Some of the common injuries from overpronation are listed below:

  • shin splints.
  • bunions.
  • heel pain.
  • plantar fasciitis.
  • iliotibial band syndrome, an inflammation of a ligament on the outside of the knee.
  • chronic lower back pain.
  • stress fractures in the foot or lower leg.
  • patellofemoral pain syndrome.

 

Management

 

Ideally in the summer if you are wearing sandals try wearing ones that have a reasonable arch support.

Don’t spend your whole day in sandals- if you are going for a long walk then wear a supportive trainer instead.

Start stretching your calf muscles as this can reduce over pronation.

Strengthen the foot core muscles that maintain the arch of the foot.

Improve your general core, buttock and leg muscle strength

Maintain a healthy body weight which reduces the strain on your inner arches and joints.

 

If you have concerns about foot, heel, ankle or any leg pain that occurs insidiously please don’t hesitate to contact your local health professional. Here at Southside Physiotherapy Clinic we have physios who are expert at assessing problems relating to over pronation. We can advise on exercise, management and whether wearing an orthotic is necessary to help your problem. We can prescribe casted, prescription and over the counter orthotics or insoles.

Click here to make an appointment or contact us by phone 289-7171 or email info@southsidephysio.com.

 

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