Over-pronation

Excessive pronation can be reduced

Excessive Pronation Causes Strain on Lower Limbs

Pronation is the natural side-to-side movement of your foot as you walk or run. Over pronation occurs when the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step.

What is it?

During the normal course of gait the foot naturally pronates and supinates. It becomes a mobile adaptor as you step on the ground and then it swings into a rigid lever to help you propel forward. But when your foot is too flexible and stays as a mobile adaptor through most of the gait cycle, excessive pronation occurs. When this happens, you experience instability of the foot, strain on the toes, and excessive rotation of the foot and lower leg. If you overpronate, your used shoes will most likely show excessive wear on the medial side of the sole. At times overpronation will also cause pain in the heel due to extra tension on the ligaments and tendons of the foot that attach to the heel.

What Causes it?

Over pronation is generally seen in those who have low arches, flat feet, fallen arches, or very flexible feet. Those with one of these foot types may have been born that way or may have acquired it over time because of genetics or injury. Flatfooted runners are prone to overpronation and overuse injuries and should be sure to wear proper support to prevent injury. There is little one can do to prevent the cause of overpronation but there are things that can be done to remedy the problem.

What Can I do?

Overpronation can be reduced by wearing proper footwear and arch supports. Motion control shoes along with insoles or orthotics can help to position your foot properly as you walk or run. This will encourage the foot to function with a more posturally correct balance of pronation and supination. If you overpronate and need an athletic shoe, make sure to pick a shoe with maximum support and structured cushioning, such as “motion control” or “stability” shoes. For all your other shoe and boot choices, it is important to make sure you choose stable, supportive footwear. If you can bend a shoe in half it is too flimsy and will increase your risk of injury. If a shoe lacks arch support, you will want to add a supportive insole orthotic to help with proper support. It is also a good idea to avoid going barefoot, even inside. Wearing supportive shoes or slippers can help to reduce the tension overpronation causes on the feet and legs.

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