It starts differently for everyone. Perhaps it starts in your 20’s, 30’s, or maybe 50’s or 60s. You start to land on the inside of your foot as you walk, creating instability and placing pressure on the mechanics of the leg. In some cases, it begins with pain in the ankle. Then it moves up the leg. Tightness in the calf. Perhaps some knee pain. It can even be tough to diagnose.
The problem is pronation and it’s a lifelong issue. No amount of physical therapy or rehab can change the way that we walk. The issue usually has to be diagnosed by a podiatrist who has to watch you walk and determine if you are landing on the inside of your foot. If the diagnosis is pronation, your podiatrist will prescribe orthotics to correct the pronation. Orthotics are custom made insoles made to fit the shape of your feet. They correct the pronation and make it easier to walk.
However, switching to orthotics can be a slow process. You have to be careful to stretch, exercise and slowly adopt to these orthotics. Podiatrists will recommend that you start out with one hour a day, then two hours a day and so forth until your feet are actually accustomed to using the orthotics.
Orthotics are a life-long prescription. You will need the orthotics to correct the pronation and despite the inclination to get rid of the orthotics, you really won’t be able to. Once a year, you will need to get the orthotics refurbished as they start to wear down. Maintenance is definitely required.
While all of this sounds like an annoyance, well, it is. However, it works. Adding orthotics to your life can change the way you walk, reduce pain in the ankle, foot, leg and knee and lead to smoother body mechanics as you start to walk properly again.