Are Your Feet Rolling Inward or Outward?

istock 1180046349 1 Our feet are complicated little constructions. They’re made up of 26 bones, 30 joints and over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Good thing — they have to absorb every single one of the millions of steps we take. Don’t believe that? The average moderately active person takes around 7,500 steps every day. Maintain that pace on average and live until the age of 80 and you’ll have walked 216,262,500 steps.

Pronation is the normal flexible motion and flattening of the arches of our feet that allow them to adapt to ground surfaces and absorb shock when we are walking normally. In a proper stride, the foot should roll forward from heel to toe and pronation should be neutral. Your weight should be balanced on your feet.

But when our foot either leans outward (supination) or inward (pronation) to an excessive degree, the continued misplaced stresses can lead to various injuries.

Excess supination

When your foot leans outward, it causes stress on the outer side of your foot when you walk or run. Your shoes will show this with wear on the outside part of the sole.

Excess supination can cause strain on your ankles. It can lead to shin splints, calluses, or bunions on the outer side of your foot. You can have pain in the heels and balls.

Excess pronation

Excess pronation, or overpronation, is more serious and leads to more injuries. When you overpronate, your foot rolls inward and your arch tends to flatten. You will show wear on the inside of the soles of your shoes.

Excess pronation can lead to pain in the arch, heel, ankle, shin, knee, hip, and back. It causes an abnormal amount of stretching and pulling on the ligaments and tendons attaching to the bottom back of the heel bone.

Both excessive supination and pronation can lead to ankle sprains, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, tendinitis, and even joint injuries.

Treatment

If you have excessive pronation or supination, we need to see you at one of our Foot & Ankle Clinics of Utah. We’ll analyze your gait and find out where the problem lies. The goal is to simply balance your feet to create proper loading when walking and running.

Treatment may be as simple as custom orthotic insoles to correct your misalignment. If one leg is a bit shorter than the other, a heel lift can remedy the problem. Physical therapy may be necessary. We’ll also recommend the right type of shoes. For instance, excess supination needs cushioning, flexibility, and support in the heel to balance the outward roll of the foot. Excess pronation needs a more stable shoe with a firm midsole and heel cushioning.

If you’re dealing with the daily pain that could be due to issues with supination, please give us a call at any of our five locations in American Fork, (801) 763-3885; Payson, (801) 765-1718; Springville (801) 491-3668; and Orem (two locations, (801) 226-2421 or (801) 765-1718).

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