How your foot moves when you walk or run determines its efficiency in carrying you. You need your foot to move in the right ways every time you take a step so that you absorb the shock of hitting the ground and still push off correctly to move forward. When it doesn’t hit correctly, the structure of your foot is stressed. Even if your foot is performing the correct motions, if it goes too far, you are not able to strike well. You may not feel it right away, but over time the strain can lead to injuries or problems.
Rolling Too Far
Pronation is how much your foot rolls inward when it strikes the ground while walking or running. A certain amount is needed to land and absorb shock. In normal pronation, it rolls a little bit and you push off evenly from the front of the foot. When you overpronate, your foot rolls inward more than normal. Then when you push off to walk, the first and second toes carry the majority of your weight. This stresses the ankle and foot, forcing them to function from unusual positions and without sufficient support, compromising their ability to distribute pressure.
Strain Leads to Pain
The more a person walks on these inward-rolling arches, the more strain is placed on the foot and ankle structure. You may not feel pain at first. Over time, however, the strain can lead to inflammation or even a breakdown of difference structures. This can develop into a number of uncomfortable conditions that result in pain in the arch and heel, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, metatarsalgia, and bunions.
Excessive in-rolling can also cause problems in your knees, hips, and lower back. When your arch rolls too far, it pulls the ankle, which in turn twists and strains the knee. When the knee is no longer in alignment, the hips and back also become twisted. The extra and unusual rubbing that results from the other joints being twisted inward can wear them down and cause you pain there as well.
Treating Your Feet Well
Knowing your foot’s pronation can help you treat and prevent pain. You can check your position by looking at your arches while you stand still. If you do not see a clear arch and the inside of your foot touches the floor when you’re not moving, your foot is already overpronated. You can also check your shoes. If they are the most worn along the inside edge of the shoe, you are unevenly putting pressure there when you walk or run. At Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona, our doctors look at your foot’s position and your walking gait to accurately determine if your foot over-rolls. From there they can work with you to determine the best way to correct it.
Good shoes and custom orthotics seem to be the most effective ways to manage overpronation. Well-fitted shoes designed to support and control foot movement help your arch stay where it belongs and not roll beyond the point of efficiency. Orthotics also help cushion and stabilize your foot as it lands when you step.
If you are concerned that your foot overpronates, or are already experiencing pain, don’t wait and risk the discomfort and complications that can arise. The longer your foot and joints are stressed, the more likely it is that you will develop not only pain, but also other problems that are more difficult to correct. Contact the experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for an appointment or more information by calling one of our two convenient office locations: for our Chandler office, call (480) 963-9000; for the office in Gilbert, call (480) 981-1800. Both locations can also be reached by fax: (480) 963-0375 for Chandler and (480) 981-0229 for Gilbert.