Overpronating is a term that is thrown around loosely, whether it be a clinician?s office (PT, Ortho Doc, Podiatrist), in print publication, online, or at your local shoe shop.Being classified as an
overpronator is fairly subjective. There?s no criteria to classify you as a runner who overpronates. Pronation is completely normal. Pronation allows your foot to unlock and distribute force up the
chain (leg). Pronation that fails to occur, whether it be due to an orthotic, bony structure (high arch), or motion control shoe, may actually increase ground reaction forces (impact). It should make
sense, too. Blocking your foot from pronating disengages the first anatomical system for absorbing impact forces. ?Over? insinuates that you pronate too much, but who gets to determine what?s
considered normal? We have values that are deemed ?normal,? but varying foot structures complicate the situation. Varying degrees of high, neutral, and low arches all affect this ?normal? pronation
number. ?Normal? pronation numbers will simply be out of reach for rigid arches, while flexible feet with surpass the numbers. To dilute the situation further, your strength, habits, and flexibility
can all influence how much you pronate.
Generally fallen arches are a condition inherited from one or both parents. In addition, age, obesity, and pregnancy cause our arches to collapse. Being in a job that requires long hours of standing
and/or walking (e.g. teaching, retail, hospitality, building etc) contributes to this condition, especially when standing on hard surfaces like concrete floors. Last, but not least unsupportive
footwear makes our feet roll in more than they should.
Common conditions seen with overpronation include heel pain or plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonopathy, hallus valgus and or bunions, patellofemoral pain syndrome, Iliotibial band pain syndrome, low
back pain, shin splints, stress fractures in the foot or lower leg.
So, how can you tell if you have overpronation, or abnormal motion in your feet, and what plantar fasciitis treatment will work to correct it? Look at your feet. While standing, do you clearly see
the arch on the inside of your foot? If not, and if the innermost part of your sole touches the floor, then your feet are overpronated. Look at your (running/walking) shoes. If your shoes are more
worn on the inside of the sole in particular, then pronation may be a problem for you. Use the wet foot test. Wet your feet and walk along a section of pavement, then look at the footprints you leave
behind. A normal foot will leave a print of the heel connected to the forefoot by a strip approximately half the width of the foot on the outside of the sole. If you?re feet are pronated there may be
little distinction between the rear and forefoot.
Non Surgical Treatment
Over-Pronation can be treated conservatively (non-surgical treatments) with over-the-counter orthotics. This orthotics should be designed with appropriate arch support and medial rear foot posting to
prevent the over-pronation. Footwear should also be examined to ensure there is a proper fit. Footwear with a firm heel counter is often recommended for extra support and stability. Improperly
fitting footwear can lead to additional foot problems. If the problem persists, consult your foot doctor.
Massage and stretch the calves to increase dorsiflexion at the foot/ankle. Dorsiflexion is the bending at the ankle. By improving the dorsiflexion, one will have more flexibility at the ankle, which
will allow the foot to over-pronate less. Massage the IT Band with a foam roller or tennis ball to quiet down the tightness throughout this part of the leg. The IT Band attaches from the glute
maximus and runs down the side of the leg into the knee area. When the IT Band is tight it will accelerate the force of the leg moving inward, which will cause the foot to move inward as well. It is
often that tightness through the IT Band that promotes over-pronation. Decreasing over-pronation, which is very prominent in runners, will help add endurance, speed and efficiency to your run and
ultimately place less stress on your body.