Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

, Volume 10, Issue 5, pp 431–440 | Cite as

Excessively pronated feet: a health hazard to developing children

  • Herman Tax


There is a serious misconception on the part of the public as well as amongst a great number of professionals to equate the problem of “flatfoot” with excessively pronated feet in growing children. This is a matter of grave concern since flatness of the arch of the foot can be a normal or abnormal finding in foot posture, whereas the excessively pronated foot is flattened as part of a pathological structural malposition. This inherent biomechanical defect is commonly present in the great majority of human children and is the basic reason for most postural pathology of the lower extremity.

Excessive pronation of the feet in children should in no way be interpreted as a “normal” condition to be automatically outgrown. As a matter of fact, Whitman, the famous Orthopaedic Surgeon, noted in 1917 in his text Orthopaedic Surgery that pronation of the feet commonly seen in children is more likely to worsen than improve over the years. This paper presents the probable cause of the condition, treatment and prevention of the problem and recommendations for the future.

The deforming foot posture known as “excessive pronation” is familiar to Podiatric Medicine and to Medicine generally. Yet, in spite of this familiarity, only an insignificant number of the millions of children in our country receive the simple available help required to minimize the problem.

The Podiatric profession has within its grasp the wherewithal to correct this situation, through education and counseling of parents, through cooperation with pediatricians and other professionals and by utilizing technological advances in children's footgear and orthotics. It is the intention of this paper to provide an overview of the literature and history associated with the problem of excessive pronation in children, as well as to suggest some simple techniques for improving this situation.


Social Psychology Lower Extremity Technological Advance Great Majority Health Hazard 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Consumer Reports, October, 1986.Google Scholar
  2. Gould N: University of Vermont progress report shows shoes influence child arch changes. Pedoscope 1983; 12(5): 1–2.Google Scholar
  3. Klein KK: Seminar Notes. Professor, Department of Phys. and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, Rehabilitation Laboratory.Google Scholar
  4. Lutter LL; Injuries in the runner and jogger. Minnesota Medicine 1980; p63:45–51.Google Scholar
  5. Root ML, et al, Injuries in the runner and jogger. Minnesota Medicine 1980; p63:45–51.Google Scholar
  6. Root ML, et al.: Instructional course in “Biomechanics of the Foot”. California College of Podiatric Medicine, San Francisco, CA 1978.Google Scholar
  7. Schuster OF,Ibid, San Francisco, CA 1978, p 197.Google Scholar
  8. Schuster OF: Foot Orthopaedics (First Institute of Podiatry, NY, NY, 1927), p154.Google Scholar
  9. Schuster, OF,Op Cit, pp 173–176.Google Scholar
  10. Scranton PE Jr.:Ibid, pp 167–168.Google Scholar
  11. Scranton PE Jr. in Orthopaedic Surgery in Infancy & Childhood, Ferguson, ed (Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 5th ed, 1981) p171.Google Scholar
  12. Tachdjian MO, Pediatric Orthopedics, Vol. 2 (W. B. Saunders & Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1972), p1397.Google Scholar
  13. Tax HR: The evolutionary and phylogenetic development of the lower extremity in man. JAPA, June, 1976.Google Scholar
  14. Tax HR, Podopediatrics (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MP, 2nd ed, 1985) pp324–338.Google Scholar
  15. Tax HR: Podopediatrics Manual (Private Publication, 1947).Google Scholar
  16. Tax HR,Ibid Podopediatrics Manual (Private, Publication, 1947), p344.Google Scholar
  17. Tax, HR, Podopediatrics (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2nd ed, 1985). pp1–36.Google Scholar
  18. Tax HR,Ibid, pp 15–16.Google Scholar
  19. Tax HR,Ibid. p13.Google Scholar
  20. Tax HR,Ibid. p36.Google Scholar
  21. Tax HR,Ibid, p324.Google Scholar
  22. Tax HR, Podopediatrics (Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD, 2nd ed, 1985) p338.Google Scholar
  23. Tax HR: Footwear for children. JCPM 1986; 35(3).Google Scholar
  24. Whitman R. Orthopaedic Surgery (Lea and Febiger, NY, 1917), pp705–707.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herman Tax
    • 1
  1. 1.Secaucus

Personalised recommendations