Turned in Ankles (Pronation)

by | Mar 27, 2017 | Ankle, Custom Orthotics

What is Pronation?

Many of us have heard of or are familiar with the term pronation, but don’t understand what it means.  Per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, pronation: rotation of the medial bones in the midtarsal region of the foot inward and downward so that in walking the foot tends to come down on its inner margin.  If that’s not exactly clear, how about the Latin origin of the word: ‘to bend forward.’  I myself have to admit that it is hard to understand a term describing foot motion with words, thus perhaps an illustration may help:
Corrected by orthodics (left foot)       Pronated foot (right foot)

Basically, pronation is a motion which causes compression or loss of the arch, outward turning of the foot, and inward rotation of the lower leg.  Pronated feet are commonly thought of as flatfeet, a term called pes planus.

Pronation, and it’s opposite motion supination, are needed for normal walking.  However, too much pronation can be a bad thing.  In fact, excessive pronation can lead to lower back pain, sciatica, hip pain, knee pain, shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, posterior tibial tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and big toe joint problems such as bunions and hallux limitus.

So, what to do about excessive pronation?  The best management of pronation is with custom foot orthotics, the goal being to block pronation and reduce the negative effects that occur with too much pronation.  Custom orthotics actually change foot posture and function, eliminating faulty mechanics that lead to injuries and pain.  As the feet are the basis for foundational walking, this improvement can be translated from the feet to the spine.

In a nutshell, pronation is necessary for normal walking, however it can be destructive when it is excessive.  Limitation of pronation through management with custom orthotics is safe, effective, and can benefit your whole body.  If you suffer from foot pain to spine pain and think that pronation may be the culprit, contact us today so we can get you back to normal.  721-4007 or alpinefoot.com

*Picture from http://www.adjusthealth.info/images/articles/arms/pronation_correct.jpg