Our feet are incredibly designed to be able to withstand great amounts of stress and pressure, but when there is a structural problem, the wear and tear can take a toll. Similar to the way tires on your vehicle would wear down unevenly if not properly balanced, pain and problems can develop when there is uneven pressure on your foot. This can happen with a problem such as overpronation.
It is important to understand that pronation itself is normal. It is actually how our feet were designed to respond during movement. Pronation is essentially how much your foot rolls inward when it strikes the ground. There is a natural rolling that happens, which enables the foot to handle the impact, absorb the shock, and distribute the weight. In a normal situation, your foot should roll inward slightly and then allow you to push off evenly from the front of the foot.
In the case of overpronation, the foot rolls inward more than normal, and it causes the first and second toes to carry a lot of the stress during each movement of the foot. The abnormal movement means that the structural foundation of the foot is not sound and thus cannot support or distribute weight evenly. This rolling inward may not cause any discomfort early on, but over time this abnormal movement can lead to stress on the joints, muscles and ligaments in the foot. As your gait cycle is altered, pain could also occur in your ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
How To Tell if You Overpronate
Knowing whether this movement is occurring with your feet will enable you to make the best decisions regarding your foot health. At home you can take a look at an older pair of shoes. If you overpronate, you would most likely see that the inner side of the sole is much more worn down than the outside. They would probably tilt inward if you put the shoes side by side on a flat surface as well.
Another factor to mention is that flat feet tend to overpronate. With flat feet, there is little or no arch in the bottom of the foot, and this foot structure often leads to an excessive rolling inward of the foot while standing or walking. There are some secondary injuries or deformities that can develop in this situation, such as metatarsalgia, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and bunions.
Relieve The Strain and Pain
You may not have any pain from overpronation, but if you have identified that your feet do roll inward, there are steps you can take to relieve the strain on your foot to prevent future pain. If you have been experiencing pain while active or standing, it is worth evaluating your feet and analyzing your gait to determine if your feet roll inward.
At Harvey R. Danciger, DPM in Palm Desert, CA, we can look at your foot’s position during movement and determine if there is an abnormal rolling happening. With an accurate diagnosis, we can provide the exact treatment to protect the health of your feet. Proper shoes and custom orthotics are generally the most effective ways to manage overpronation. Well-fitted shoes that support and control your foot movement will help stabilize your arch, and orthotics will cushion and stabilize your foot as strikes the ground.
Your foot health matters, especially if you desire to remain active. Minimal attention now to protect your feet will go a long way in preventing future pain and possible injury. If you are concerned about overpronation, contact our office at (760) 568-0108 or request an appointment online.