Instep Irregularities: 3 Things You Can Do to Address Overpronation
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, August 15th, 2014
Ideally, the foot is blessed with about 15 degrees of flexibility when rolling to the outside or inside of our step as we walk. This slight horizontal movement allows for better shock absorption, balance, and control. However, there are some cases when a person’s foot rolls inward at a greater angle, causing instep arch pain that can radiate up the ankle.
Most often, the tendency toward excessive pronation begins at birth, but environmental factors — such as shoe choice, failing to replace worn shoes, standing or walking for long periods at work, and pregnancy-related changes to the foot — likely contribute to the problem. Even though overpronation doesn’t play an enormous role in developing a running injury, we still find many pronators suffer from conditions like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, shin splints, back pain, bunion development, and more.
Often, we can correct over-pronation before pain becomes a problem. The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine explores some tips.
Choose the right shoes.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of wearing the right type of shoes for your feet, especially if you’re a pronator. We discussed a few specific brands and models of shoes for pronation in a previous article, but generally you want to look for shoes with a strong heel counter, a flat/rigid sole, extra cushioning, a wide base, sturdy upper sole material, and added depth to accommodate custom orthotics.
Consider arch straps, heel counters, and ankle supports.
In children, we often recommend arch straps like Sure Step, which provide even more support, as well as compression. Adults can find products like the Fabrifoam Wrap or the FlexaMed Arch Bandage, which operate in a similar manner. Some wraps come with the addition of a gel pad. While you can get similar stabilization by wrapping the foot in gauze, patients prefer these washable, easy-to-use wraps that cost just a little bit more. Heel cups are another option to correct alignment while walking. If weak ankles are partially to blame, then you may consider Rehband’s light ankle braces. Often, the choice of one product versus another has to do with patient tolerance and what you feel is most comfortable. You can buy all these products and experiment yourself, but stopping in to see one of our New York podiatrists can give you a much more personalized fitting.
Ask a podiatrist about orthotics.
A podiatrist can take a plaster cast model of your foot and send it to a manufacturer of orthotic shoe inserts that will customize your fit. Most patients respond really well to this type of modification. Professional custom inserts are generally made from high-quality leather and are firm in constitution. You can remove them and place them in whatever shoes you are wearing, provided that the shoe offers enough depth and width. On websites like Zappos, you can search for shoes with “removable footbeds” that will accommodate orthotics. Your insurance will most likely cover the bulk of the expense, with you paying a modest copay. Every couple of years, you will need to send your orthotics in for refurbishment.
The Center For Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in NYC is equipped to check the severity of your pronation, fit you with custom orthotics, and make recommendations for products or treatments that will help with any pain or problems related to your gait. Book your appointment in Manhattan or Westchester today.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.