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How Do I Treat Pronation Pain?

By Sarah Sullins
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pronation pain in children and adults is generally treated with the use of orthopedic inserts and exercise. In many cases, if caught early enough, pronation can be fixed. Doctors will often use orthopedic shoes to distribute the body's weight evenly throughout the foot. In younger children, physicians will often recommend that leg braces are worn at night to help correct this condition.

The term "pronation" refers to how a person's weight is distributed in the feet as he or she walks or runs. It is usually described as the side-to-side tilting of the foot which helps the absorb the impact of a step. If a person's pronation is normal, the heel hits the ground on the outside and the foot rolls in slightly during a step, then pushes off evenly. When the heel hits the ground at the wrong point and the foot rolls in too much — or not enough — it can result in pronation pain.

Symptoms of under- or overpronation include hip, back, and knee pain. Some people with this condition may develop fallen arches caused by the twisting of the muscles and tendons in the feet. This is also known as plantar fasciitis. It is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia under the foot when the arches collapse.

The treatments for pronation pain often center on aligning the foot so that it hits the ground more evenly. Pain due to pronation in adults is typically treated with orthopedic inserts or specially designed shoes. A medical professional may perform a procedure known as a wet print to see how the weight is distributed and how it can be corrected. Custom inserts can then be created to reduce or eliminate the motion that is causing the pain.

Treating pronation pain in children depends on the age of the child and the severity of the pronation. Treatments most often used in children include night braces, orthopedic inserts, and exercises. As in adults, orthopedic inserts are a common treatment because they are often able to help distribute the weight of the child's body throughout their feet. Often, when caught early enough, pronation issues in children can be reversed.

Unfortunately, pronation that is not caught early on can become permanent. While inserts or special shoes can often improve pronation pain, additional treatment with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving medications may also be needed.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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