Do your feet hurt? If you’re reading this blog post, you probably do suffer from foot pain and are trying to figure out why and how to make it better. There are plenty of injuries and conditions that can lead to foot pain, but did you know even your gait, the way your feet and ankles move when you walk, can cause foot pain.
It’s all down to pronation
Pronation is the movement of your ankle and foot when you take a step. There are three distinct movements: dorsiflection, eversion, and abduction. These are the technical terms for the upward turn of your foot, the inward roll of your ankle, and the outward motion of your heel and toes in each step you take.
Overpronation occurs when these movements are exaggerated or extreme. Overpronation in and of itself isn’t painful, but it puts unnecessary stress on your feet and ankles and can lead to pain and more serious conditions.
Signs of overpronation
Overpronation can cause a number of symptoms, the most obvious of which is pain. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, especially in the arches, your ankles, knees, or lower back you should seek out help from a trusted New Hampshire podiatrist.
You may experience constant pain or it may flare up or become worse after you have been walking or exercising. You may have recurring muscle tightness in your legs. Bunions and calluses are also signs that you overpronate. You may also notice that your shoes wear down on the outer edges of the soles first or your feet may turn out at the ankle.
Have you ever looked at your foot prints after you got out of a swimming pool? Flat feet or low arches are associated with overpronation and will leave footprints of the whole foot or most of it. You might also notice that when you stand that your arches are either very close to touching the ground or rest on the ground. You’ll need a professional analysis for a full diagnosis, though.
If you’ve ever been to a serious runners’ store, the sales person may have performed a gait assessment to fit you with the best running shoe. While these people may be passionate about their sport, they are not medically trained to diagnose foot conditions. You will need to see a trusted podiatrist for a comprehensive exam for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Your foot doctor will examine your feet, the way you stand and walk, and will carefully look at your ankles. He will ask about your pain or any other foot pain or ankle issues you are experiencing. He may order x-rays for more information to confirm his diagnosis. Once he has confirmed overpronation, he will be able to provide effective treatment.
What causes overpronation?
Overpronation is caused by a collapse in the framework of the foot. This causes the arch of the foot to flatten out during a step, which puts stress on the plantar fascia, the metatarsals, and other parts of the foot and ankles. The collapse can be caused by tendinitis, arthritis, injury, being overweight or pregnant, or even repetitive stress from exercising.
If left untreated, overpronation can lead to other foot pain and conditions including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Heel spurs
- Achilles tendonitis
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
Can anything fix overpronation?
Your podiatrist has a variety of treatments available to address overpronation. In most cases, your doctor will try conservative treatments first. These may include custom orthotics and changing to more supportive shoes.
For example, if you're athletic, your foot doctor may suggest that you switch to stability shoes for mild or moderate overpronation or motion control shoes if your overpronation is more severe.
However, if a conservative approach to correcting your gait isn’t effective and you still experience foot pain, your podiatrist may suggest a minimally invasive treatment called HyProCure®.
HyProCure® treatment involves placing a small titanium stent in the naturally ocurring space between the ankle and the heel bone. The stent then prevents the ankle bone from rolling inward and the foot from turning out. The placement is done through a small incision and no screwing or drilling is necessary.
HyProCure® offers a number of benefits, not the least of which is a quick and effective treatment for overpronation. It's a straightforward outpatient procedure, which is relatively pain-free and heals quickly.
If you're suffering from foot pain and want to find effective treatment, talk to a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. Dr. Nagy and his team are dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate treatment for their patients.
At Nagy Footcare our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.