As a runner, have you ever wondered how you can have a really fast race one day, and never get comfortable during another? Have you wondered why you can’t run or jump as well as you could when you were younger? Over time runners develop movement dysfunction patterns that can create a chain reaction that affects performance and may lead to injury.
Plantar fasciitis, knee pain, IT Band issues, hip pain and limping often stem from a syndrome called Pronation Distortion. Don’t worry it is not as bad as it sounds, and more importantly it is very treatable!
What is Pronation Distortion and how do we correct it?
The National Academy of Sports Medicine describes Pronation Distortion Syndrome as a “common lower extremity postural distortion pattern that can lead to other movement dysfunction patterns throughout the kinetic chain and ultimately, injury. By incorporating static and dynamic assessments of the foot and ankle complex, a provider can help to identify this distortion pattern.”
It has been estimated that up to 98% of the population suffers from effects of Pronation Distortion to some degree. As we develop in adolescence, our arches develop elastic plasticity. Simply put, they lose some of their strength and start to bend and bounce as we step. This bounce causes our foot to roll inward, our ankle and knee to roll inward, and our hip to jut outward. Typically worse on one side, this actually causes one foot to appear larger in size than the other and causes your shoes to wear out to the outside of the heel. This elasticity causes an array of soft tissue problems. As the soft tissue changes, the biomechanics across those joints change, and not for the better! Faulty biomechanics lead to a large number of sports injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, patellofemoral syndrome, IT Band syndrome, and hip issues. It can even leave an athlete more susceptible to the dreaded ACL tear!
The most effective protocol for treating this has several stages. The joints that have now become “stuck” need to be cleared. One side of the joint will have muscles and soft tissue that are spastic, short and tight. These need to be released with one of many available soft tissue techniques—techniques that not all providers are experienced with. Finally, the other side of the joint will have “lazy” muscles that have forgotten how to contract. These need some simple exercises to wake them back up.
Depending on how severe your Pronation Distortion is, it will likely need a short, intense course of treatment for correction and periodic follow-ups to prevent its return. With the right care, sports chiropractor Dr. Mark Zuber will have you pain free and performing better in short order!