Forefoot supinatus is defined as a soft tissue contracture of the forefoot in which the forefoot is in an inverted or supinated position relative to the rearfoot when the rearfoot is in its defined neutral position. The cause of forefoot supinatus is generally assumed to be a rearfoot that during gait everts past vertical or a windlass mechanism dysfunction that allows the medial side of the forefoot to dorsiflex during gait.
There is a lot of confusion over terminology. For the purposes of here, I use these ones: Forefoot supinatus is defined as an inverted position of the forefoot due to a soft tissue contracture. which is different from forefoot varus that is an inverted position of the forefoot of osseous or bony origins. Forefoot supinatus is much more common than forefoot varus.
As forefoot supintus is a soft tissue contracture, it therefore may have the potential for exercises to “correct” it. The biggest problem with the use of exercises to correct it, is that the supinatus is there for a reason (either a rearfoot that everts past vertical or a windlass mechanism dysfunction) any attempt at exercises to try and correct the supinatus position might fail as the cause for that forefoot supinatus is still there.
Before undertaking any exercises for forefoot supinatus, the cause of the supinatus should be addresses. Also, it is probably important that a diagnosis is correct, as if the reason for the inverted forefoot is really an osseous forefoot varus and not the soft tissue forefoot supinatus, then no amount of exercises are going to correct it.
Two exercises can be potentially useful:
- Stretching or mobilization: Here stretching exercises are used to try and evert the forefoot on the rearfoot and to try and plantarflex the first ray. This will have the effect of trying to stretch out the supinatus.
- Short foot exercise. This will also help plantarflex the first ray and strengthen the muscles that can plantarflex the medial forefoot which will help overcome the supinatus position of the forefoot.