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Pronation - Definition


Pronation defines a particular movement and position of an upper limb, hence pronation of the arm is when the palm of the hand is downwards-facing, with the thumb turned in towards the body. This is the hand position required to catch something. Supination is the opposite movement, where the palm of the hand is upwards-facing with the thumb turned outwards. Painful pronation can be observed in children when this movement occurs spontaneously and any arm movement causes pain. This occurs in cases of dislocation of the radial head, in other words the tip of the lateral forearm bone, which is a common and harmless condition. These cases are for the most part the consequence of an overly-sudden traction of the arm by another, usually a friend. Although it is a simple maneuver, it must be performed by a professional in order to avoid any following discomfort, by reinserting the radial head into the correct position, thus recovering normal use of the arm.