• Live In-Person Customer Service

    Speak to a real person by calling:
    888-790-4100
    Mo-Fr, 8AM - 5PM Pacific time.

Pronation

Have you come to the conclusion you over pronate?

Not sure what it is and why you pronate?

Pronation is a natural motion, and like most things natural, too much and too little can be a problem. The right amount of pronation serves to cushion your feet, to soften your heel strike and to balance your body. When the foot pronates, your arch drops and your ankle bone moves forward and inward on your heel bone. This motion causes your leg to become functionally shorter and internally rotate.

Too much pronation causes excessive torques in your knees and hips, it tilts your hips forward and tears down your posture. Too little pronation makes your heels hit the ground like a jack hammer sending shocks up your spine. Too little pronation or supination causes your gait to become heavy and hard so you walk with a thump, thump, thump! No fun living in the downstairs apartment from someone doing that.

You have Muscles to Control Pronation   •   •   •   •   •   • 

It is easy to proove too. Just pick up a towel from the floor with your feet and you'll see. It makes your arch rise, and it sends your big toe to the ground. Logic tells you that if you plop your arches on top of an arch support, those muscles will become lazy, and that brings on a whole new set of problems most people want to avoid - like for example the inability to walk barefoot without pain.

If you think of pronation as the natural suspension of the feet, it also makes little sense to block the suspension with arch supports unless you're unable to muscularly control your arches.

Arch supports weaken your feet

Most People do not need arch supports

NO - If you have functional arches, even if they are low, you don't need arch supports.

NO - If you have high flexible arches, you don't need arch supports. 

Arch supports are helpful under certain conditions

YES - People who have flat feet benefit from arch supports.

YES - People who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain) benefit from using arch supports temporarily while the fascia attachment heals. 

Getting to the root cause

If all your metatarsals and toes are on the ground, figure A, you'd be balanced and your arch would be stable--not dropping.  The problem is that for most people, the big toe (and first metatarsal) h Morton's Foot Syndrome (shortened first metatarsal and deeper first web space).  It is an issue of the bones in the foot - specifically the head of the Talus (ankle bone).  Because of an upward rotation of the head of the Talus, the first metatarsal and the big toe literally have to travel a small distance toward the ground to become weight bearing, and in the process the inside of the foot, the arch, collapses. 

The elevated first metatarsal also causes the ankle to roll in and an internal rotation of the leg.  You were born with the elevated first metatarsal which greatly impacts your gait and posture. 

The muscles controlling your arches were stronger when you were younger and more active. By the same token, children today are less active and weaker, and as a result, they suffer with back aches and other musculoskeletal pain in record numbers.  Most people try to control their arches using the wrong muscles - we call them “bracers”  because they brace their muscles against hyperpronation.  That leads to tired calf muscles and shin splints.  We know with certainty that faulty foot mechanics and poor posture catches up with you as you age.  By the age of 40, most people suffer from some kind of foot and posture related musculoskeletal pain. 


Fig A. All the toes should be on the ground.

 


The elevated first metatarsal seen in the frontal plane

When you pick up a towel from the floor with your feet, you bring your first metatarsal and big toe down to the ground so your foot can be properly supported.  That is exactly what Posture Control Insoles® do - bring your first metatarsal and big toe down to the ground.  Simply put, Posture Control Insoles® put that foot exercise you did "on automatic" with every step - they help your body heal itself.  The insoles allow your body to correct your gait and posture.  Your performance will improve, your muscles will relax and your pain will subside.  It doesn't happen instantaneously, but after 7-10 days you should feel a significant difference.