Overpronation of the foot is not an injury but if an individual overpronate, he/she is at risk to various sports injuries. This is often recognized as the flattening or rolling inwards of the foot but it is not that simple since the timing when the foot rolls in also an important factor. Once you suspect that an individual has the tendency to overpronate, it is best to consult a podiatrist for proper assessment.
A close look on overpronation
Pronation typically occurs as weight is being transferred from the heel to the forefoot and the foot rolls in an inward manner. This movement is natural but in some individuals, the foot rolls inwards excessively or overly pronates.
When standing, pronation occurs as the foot rolls inwards while the arch of the foot flattens out. It is important to note that pronation is a normal part of the gait cycle that helps provide shock absorption at the foot. The opposite movement to pronation is supination. This is the normal part of the gait cycle right after the heel strike but oversupination is not also good though.
How overpronation causes injury
Excessive pronation typically causes overuse injuries that frequently affect runners. When the neutral foot pronates during running or walking, the lower leg, thigh and knee rotate internally. This will increase the stress placed on the tendons, muscles and ligaments of the foot as well as the lower leg including the knee and shin as the limb rotates too far. This is why those who overpronate are more likely to end up with injuries.
Overpronation and connection with running injuries
The issue with overpronation is that it can cause issues and increase the risk of an individual to a number of injuries, especially among runners. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn the appropriate measures to perform for these injuries. The running injuries that are likely to occur include the following:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Achilles tendonitis
- Patello-femoral pain syndrome
- Anterior compartment syndrome
How to correct overpronation
A gait analysis will determine the running style of the individual and will highlight if he/she overpronate, oversupinate or have a neutral gait.
When an individual overpronate, it is recommended to get extra medial support. Various running shoes are built with a hard material on the interior of the mid-sole. It simply means that the inside of the shoe will be compressed less while under load and support the interior of the foot, thus preventing it from flattening or rolling in.
For those who have severe overpronation, an option is to utilize an orthotic device. Orthotic insoles are available in various types. Some of these are pre-molded and readily available in the market. These are suitable for most cases of foot issues. Nevertheless, some cases will require specialized orthotics from a sports injury professional or podiatrist.