As with any profession, our team at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates relies on various tools to fix problems that cause pain or keep you from your favorite activities. Perhaps the most versatile tool we use is custom orthotics. These medical devices are used in treatment for issues as diverse as bunions, cavus foot (high, rigid foot arches), hammertoe, metatarsalgia (forefoot pain), and plantar fasciitis.
Orthotic devices are also used to help pronation issues. Pronation is a natural process used by feet in every step they take. During the grounding portion of a step, the foot rotates inwards from the heel strike all the way through the final push of the toes. This rotation isn’t intended to be particularly large—around fifteen percent is ideal—but it is important for ensuring proper distribution of the forces that come with walking and running.
Depending on your unique foot structure, there’s a chance you either pronate too much (overpronation) or not enough (supination). As a general rule, overpronation is often linked to flatfoot and supination is connected to cavus foot. These pronation abnormalities lead to inequitable distribution of force loads, which means that certain areas of the foot encounter more pressure than intended. This can lead to a variety of issues.
With overpronation specifically, you may start to experience chronic pain that starts in the lower body and can travel up into the lower back. Left untreated, this biomechanical abnormality can also increase the risk of plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, and arthritis. Additionally, overpronation may be linked to both the development and progression of bunions.
But we have good news – custom orthotics can correct overpronation patterns. Now, we may start by trying other methods—recommending motion-control footwear or over-the-counter inserts—but orthotics are a proven treatment option used to help many patients.
The reason orthotics are so effective at resolving pronation abnormalities is the fact they are crafted to work specifically with your unique feet and biomechanical processes. Orthotics fall into two general categories – accommodative and functional. When discussing the orthotic devices we prescribe to correct abnormal foot biomechanics (overpronation included), we are talking about the functional variety.
If you or any of your loved ones are experiencing problems on account of overpronation, our Bloomington, IL office is ready to help. There are various possible treatment options we might use, including custom orthotic devices. The only way to know for sure what will work best is to come in and see us for a proper evaluation and treatment plan. Either take a moment to fill out our online contact form or give us a call at (309) 661-9975.