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Articles by our Physical Therapists

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7. What Type of Feet Do You Have?

What Type of Feet Do You Have? 

Feet can be classified into 3 categories:  pronated, supinated, or neutral.  A pronated foot type is basically a flat foot, while a supinated foot is high arched. A neutral foot type is classified somewhere in-between the other two.  A physical therapist can determine a person’s foot type by specific measurements of the arch and heel, accompanied with a visual assessment. 

So, why is this important?  A person’s foot type can explain foot, ankle, knee, hip, and even low back pain.  This phenomenon is called the kinetic chain.  The theory behind this is that the movement of one part affects other parts by a chain reaction.  For example, a person with a pronated foot type will generate increased internal rotation forces of the tibia (lower leg).  This excessive internal rotation can negatively affect the knees and hips.  It can lead to overuse injuries like ITB syndrome (runner’s knee), shin splints, and knee problems.  Prolonged excessive tibial rotation can progress degenerative joint disease and cause stress fractures.

Baker Valley Physical Therapy and The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop will be offering a video gait analysis on March 5th in Baker City at the Medical Arts Center.  The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop is based out of Meridian, Idaho. Each person’s foot type will be determined by a video gait analysis, which typically takes 15 minutes.  Analysis is geared toward all fitness levels.  Runners, walkers, cross-trainers, and those just out for a stroll are encouraged to attend.  Based on analysis, specific types of shoes will be recommended to the person.  Various styles and sizes of shoes will be available for trial.  In addition, each participant will be eligible for a 20% discount on shoes following the testing.  There are no obligations to purchase shoes, and there is no charge for the analysis.  If interested, please call Baker Valley Physical Therapy to set up an appointment time at 541-523-8888.

Written by Blake Marlia, DPT

Published March 2011

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