In addition to medical conditions, orthotics can be used to regulate pronation patterns. Pronation is a completely natural, biomechanical process feet go through with every step. Essentially, this process takes place during the ground portion of each step and consists of an inwards rolling motion. For a foot with a normal arch height, this inwards roll is about fifteen percent. An important purpose of pronation is to properly distribute the incredible amount of force placed upon the landing foot (at least one-and-a-half times your body weight when walking and as much as seven times when running!).
Not everyone’s pronation pattern is the same, and this can be dependent upon unique foot structure. For some people—particularly those who have flat feet—pronation is excessive (overpronation). For others—mostly those who have excessively high foot arches—the pronation is not as much as it should be (supination).
Overpronation and supination are problematic because they result in an inequitable distribution of force loads. When gait issues like these are present, certain areas in the lower limbs end up enduring more pressure than what they are intended to absorb, and that can cause problems.
Whereas insoles bought over-the-counter may be able to provide some additional support, they are not customized to take into account your actual arch height and pronation pattern. Custom orthotics, however, can be prescribed to work with your unique foot structure and address any gait abnormalities.
Generally speaking, orthotics are either functional or accommodative. If we need to treat your pronation problems, we are going to use functional orthotics constructed from sturdy materials that will restrict abnormal motion. Accommodative orthotic devices are softer and can be prescribed to provide additional cushioning for toes, feet, or ankles.
Custom orthotics might be part of the treatment plan we create to address foot pain or restore functionality, but we have many other nonsurgical options as well. If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, contact Richardson Podiatry Center and we will work to create a treatment plan for you.
Call us at (972) 690-5374 to request your appointment!