The architecture of the foot is held together at the joints by ligaments. Ligaments consist of bands of flexible, fibrous tissue which connect the bones of the foot. They are incredibly strong and permit only slight movement within each joint while providing ample motion of the foot in general. The arches of the foot owe their shape largely to these fibrous structures.
When ligaments become strained or stretched and lose their tone, they allow specific bones of the foot to drop from their “neutral” position and can cause flat feet or pronation. Pronation is instability of the ankle and is one of the most common causes of foot, knee and hip pain. Pronation is when the ankles “roll in.” Pronation is often confused with flat-feet (pes planus) because under pronation, the arch may flatten upon weight bearing. But flat feet and pronation are different foot conditions.
Most of our clients who tell us that their feet or knees hurt also think their feet are flat. Their feet actually have functional and/or very high arches; their ankles simply pronate. We adjust the integrated orthotic while the ankle is in its most neutral (non-pronated) position. Most people are completely surprised at just how high and functional their arch really is!
Pronation, left untreated, will get worse in the long-term. The problem is that ligaments stretch out much faster than they can repair themselves. Since we use our feet daily, unsupported ligaments continue to stretch and pronation escalates. Functional footwear stops pronation and keeps it from getting worse. The result is more functional, problem-free feet.
When the ankle pronates, the knee and hip are out of alignment as well, and the wear and tear on the knee can be extreme. Many people come to us to resolve their knee problem and we have saved many clients from unnecessary knee surgery. Managing pronation is one of our primary functions and it is essential to problem-free feet and knees.