Pronation is the normal movement the foot makes to absorb the impact from walking or running. It occurs once the heel strikes the ground and the foot disperses the impact, stretching and flattening
the arch as the foot rolls inward. Supination is the opposite motion of pronation. The foot supinates, or rolls on its outer edge, to help with stability as we walk or run. A reasonable amount of
pronation is necessary for the foot to function properly. However, when the foot arch remains flat and the foot rolls inward too much one may have excessive pronation or overpronation. This medical
condition can result from continually straining the feet and wearing footwear that lacks sufficient foot arch support.
You do not have to be a runner or athlete to suffer from overpronation. Flat feet can be inherited, and many people suffer from pain on a day-to-day basis. Flat feet can also be traumatic in nature
and result from tendon damage over time. Wearing shoes that do not offer enough arch support can also contribute to overpronation.
If you overpronate, your symptoms may include discomfort in the arch and sole of foot, your foot may appear to turn outward at the ankle, your shoes wear down faster on the medial (inner) side of
your shoes. Pain in ankle, shins, knees, or hips, especially when walking or running are classic symptoms of overpronation. Overpronation can lead to additional problems with your feet, ankles, and
knees. Runners in particular find that overpronation can lead to shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, compartment syndrome, achilles tendonitis, bunions or hallux valgus,
patello-femoral pain syndrome, heel spurs, metatarsalgia.
At some point you may find the pain to much or become frustrated. So what are you options? Chances are your overpronation has led to some type of injury if there's pain. Your best bet is to consult
with someone who knows feet. Start with your pediatrist, chiropodist or chiropractor. They'll be able to diagnose and treat the injury and give you more specific direction to better support your
feet. One common intervention is a custom foot orthotic. Giving greater structural support than a typical shoe these shoe inserts can dramatically reduce overpronation.
Non Surgical Treatment
Overpronation is usually corrected with orthotics and/or strengthening exercises for the tibialis posterior. Massage treatment can relieve myofascial trigger points in the tibialis posterior, and
other muscles, and address any resulting neuromuscular dysfunction in the leg or foot. Biomechanical correction of overpronation might require orthotics, neuromuscular reeducation, or gait retraining
methods, as well. Stretching the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles will reduce hypertonicity in these muscles and also is essential for effective treatment. Because of impacts throughout the remainder
of the body, the detrimental effects of overpronation should not be overlooked.
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.