Pronation in the Foot Is Good, but Overpronation Isn’t
Understanding pronation in the foot is important. Even though you might not know the terminology, you probably recognize the problem. Pronation is the part of the cycle of walking or running when the foot is flexible. Supination describes that part of the cycle when the foot is rigid. Overpronation occurs when there is a minimal arch or no arch, a condition commonly called flat feet. Lack of a good arch tends to result in overpronation or putting most of your weight on the insides of your feet. This generates greater risks of injury, pain and discomfort. There are exercises you can do to try and correct bad gaits and problems in the foot and ankle complex. However, the best treatment approach includes using custom orthotic devices or custom-made quality footwear to correct your foot’s structure.
When the foot and ankle don’t work properly, it affects the hips, legs and muscles of the pelvis. The muscles, ligaments and tendons of the feet and legs normally work together to protect the joints of the ankles and feet from excess stress, but overpronation throws everything out of alignment, which damages tissue and stresses the joints. That’s why people who suffer from flat feet and fallen arches should look for shoes with extra arch support. The problems become even more pronounced for runners, joggers and athletes.
Overpronation vs. Underpronation
Typically, overpronation happens because of flat feet. You can easily conduct a pronation test using simple observation. If you land most of your weight on the insides of your feet so that your ankles point out, that means you overpronate. If your weight hits the outside of your feet so that your ankles point inward, you underpronate. Through our services and products at The Active Foot Store, we’ll strive to correct either of these conditions for you.
Unfortunately, both flat feet symptoms and supination of the foot can cause injuries, accidents, discomfort and structural weaknesses. Custom orthotics could correct the shape of your foot while providing comfortable support. Orthotics supply flexibility where needed and rigidity to support the foot during the supination phase when pushing off from the toe.
Overpronation can lead to a variety of problems in your posture, feet, legs and torso. These include:
- Calluses of the big toe
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Spinal pain
- Knee pain
Supination can cause many of the same problems. Supination can be caused by weaknesses in the muscles of the feet, ankles and leg. Tight or rigid shoes can also cause or exacerbate the condition. Body misalignment also causes supination. You can try and treat supination in the following ways:
- Choose lightweight shoes with extra cushioning.
- Wear orthotic insoles designed to correct underpronation.
- Work with a physical therapist to loosen tight tendons and strengthen the relevant muscles.
- Select running shoes designed for underpronation.
Some of the best ways to try and correct overpronation include rehabilitation exercises and custom orthotics. The best results occur when people use both exercise and orthotic support. You may be able to improve your foot movements by keeping your toenails trimmed and dealing with a condition like athlete’s foot. In extreme cases, manual therapy, such as chiropractic care, might be required. You can find overpronation exercises online.
Orthotics are important at any age to correct pronation in the foot, but the problems become aggravated with age because of weakened muscles, loss of bone density and other aging disorders. Rehab and custom shoes could reduce pain, improve posture and strengthen joints. If you’re in the San Diego area, you can visit The Active Foot Store for a consultation on custom-fabricated orthotics, arch supports or quality footwear.