It is estimated that around 80% of the population suffer from excessive pronation. This condition is common in all types of people from children to the elderly and from top athletes to people with a
sedentary lifestyle. The feet become misaligned and combined with poor posture roll inwards to gain ground contact, the arches become flattened producing the condition known as excessive pronation.
When the feet are excessively pronated a combination of poor posture and diminished shock absorption results in some areas of the feet being subjected to excessive stress and pressure. This can lead
to various conditions including knee and back problems, as well as foot problems and deformities.
There has been some speculation as to whether arch height has an effect on pronation. After conducting a study at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Maggie Boozer suggests that people with
higher arches tend to pronate to a greater degree. However, the generally accepted view by professionals is that the most pronation is present in those with lower arch heights. To complicate matters,
one study done by Hylton Menz at the University of Western Sydney-Macarthur suggests that the methods for measuring arch height and determining whether someone is ?flat-footed? or ?high-arched? are
unreliable. He says, ?For this reason, studies investigating the relationship between static arch height motion of the rearfoot have consistently found that such a classification system is a poor
predictor of dynamic rearfoot function.
Common conditions seen with overpronation include heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Achilles tendonopathy. Hallus Valgus and/or bunions. Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Iliotibial band pain syndrome. Low
back pain. Shin splints. Stress fractures in the foot or lower leg.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and activities and examine your feet. Your provider may watch you walk or run. Check the motion of your feet when they strike
the ground. Look at your athletic shoes to see if they show an abnormal pattern of wear.
Non Surgical Treatment
Although there is no actual cure for over-pronation it is possible to correct or at least reduce this problem. In order to restore our normal foot function an 'orthotic' or orthotic insole device is
placed inside the shoes. Orthotics are designed to realign the foot and ankle bones to their natural position. This in turn restores our normal foot function and it helps alleviate not only foot
problems but also ailments in other parts of the body i.e. the legs, knees and lower back. In addition to wearing an orthotic, it is recommended to wear supportive shoes, like good quality athletic
footwear with a firm heel counter and sufficient flexibility in the forefoot area.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.