Excess Pronation and how orthotics help

We have gathered some in depth information about Pronation for you. Here you will find out what degree and kind of it you are suffering from.

If you’ve had any recent assessment with a certified Pedorthist, and if they pointed out that you pronate, or under-pronate or supinate or over-pronate while walking, it might prove to be a bit unsettling. You’ve never had any problems walking except for a minor sprain every now and then on the edges of your feet; nothing major. But that’s what you think and it might not be necessarily the truth. In reality you could be facing a serious problem of pronation.

What do you mean by pronation?

Pronation is natural. It is the movement of our foot when we walk. Our foot naturally rolls inwards and this very movement of it works to absorb the shock that our feet receive while walking. It does so by distributing the impact of the force that is generated from the floor or ground we step on.
Our feet don’t fully flatten when we walk. There is only some splaying of the arch of the foot. Also there is some shifting of our ankle towards the inside and the amount of movement here largely depends on the arch height and your flexibility. Having said that, you need to know that pronation is not bad. You need to understand that it is actually very essential for shock absorption when we walk as it governs our gait cycle. Many people take it to be a big reason for foot pain which is not the case at all. As someone who suffers from it you will find out that too much of it may result in mal-alignment and this is called over-pronation.

What is over-pronation?

Over-pronation of your feet happens when you tend to fully spread them out and contact the ground. You will notice your ankle rotating inwards at a rather significant angle. When this happens you will see the effects of it in on your overall biomechanics. You will see your knees and hips also starting to rotate inwards and soon they will become misaligned as well. This results in more pull on the soft tissue structures that surround your joints, and that puts more strain on them.

This can lead to pain over time. One may also experience extra friction on various areas of their foot due to excess foot movement. This eventually results in pressure spots and callusing of the feet. All of this can cause problems such as plantar fasciitis and patello-femoral pain syndrome. These can be controlled and rectified with the help of custom orthotics in combination with proper footwear.

What is supination?

When you are walking, you lift your foot from the ground after planting it firmly and propel forward in continuation. This is lifting of the foot from the ground is called supination. During normal supination the foot comes back up easily to prepare our body to take its next step.

What is under-pronation?

Under-pronation is also called ‘over-supination’. Your feet are said to under-pronate when they are lacking in this basic movement. You will notice in this case that the arch of your foot does not spread out much. As a result of this, your foot rolls outwards and isn’t able to absorb shock as well as it should. You may develop conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Pressure spots may easily build up in your forefoot and heel as a result of the structure of the foot. If you are planning to buy orthotics made for feet suffering from this problem, they will work to solve a different purpose altogether and that is to enable pressure distribution and provide adequate cushioning.

Do bear in mind that everyone with a high arch cannot be called a supinator. Similarly not everyone who has a low arch can be classified an over-pronator. Someone even with very high arches may still over-pronate while walking. Before investing any money and time in getting used to a particular set of orthotics, it is always better to ask a specialist. Don’t be clumsy. Don’t be careless with your gait.

When you are walking, you lift your foot from the ground after planting it firmly and propel forward in continuation. This is lifting of the foot from the ground is called supination. During normal supination the foot comes back up easily to prepare our body to take its next step.

Are you a runner? Are you fond of physical activities involving several uses of your feet? Do you like to cycle and go rock-climbing? Are you into functional training or martial arts? If yes, this post is for you. No matter what fitness regime you follow or what trainer you are getting your tips from, if you are a habitual supinator or under-pronator, your feet are suffering at the moment. You are used to placing extra stress on the outer side of your feet. Do you know this condition of your feet can trigger a host of other issues as well? Following are a few telltale signs of this problem If you are not aware of them already:

Shoes leaning to one side

When you run, your shoes tend to get misshapen and this is noticeable when you look at the outside of their heel. This is because the outside of your foot hits the ground first and you can’t really help it. This happens when your foot doesn’t roll inward sufficiently after landing. The resultant force or impact is critical and remains concentrated on that part of your foot. If you want to be surer of this, have a look at your running shoes and you will notice just how they wear out and especially quickly and more from the outer side. In this situation, it is advised not to continue with those shoes because this uneven wear or balance of the shoe may make supination /under-pronation even worse.

This is a result of less shock absorption on the worn down section of the shoe where you’re landing. In order to correct this situation you need to reinforce your gait and distribute the impact of your landing evenly. To be completely sure if you are supinating or under-pronating and that your shoes have uneven wear, you can see how they balance on a flat surface. If you see an outward tilt, you are supinating my friend.

Fractures and sprains – sound common?

As a supinator you are placing more pressure on your outer feet, and you are very likely to develop stress fractures on the large bones (located in the middle of your foot) connected to your fourth and pinky toe. You may be forced to see the podiatrist more often because your tiny toes are bearing all the weight and doing most of the work when you walk or run. You may also develop a stress fracture on your fibula (outside bone on your lower leg). Supinators /under-pronators are more likely to stress this area; therefore fibula fracture becomes common in them. The extra pressure a supinator experiences may also diminish ankle stability in addition to stress fractures and also increases the likelihood of their ankle rolling or spraining.

Shin Pain

When you supinate your foot suffers from more shock and running on it repeatedly causes your lower legs to pain and most commonly it is around the shins. You may experience shin splints below your knee more likely on the anterior leg.

Tightness in calf and Achilles

Some people say that tight Achilles tendons and calf muscles are a result of excess supination, whereas others say that because there is extra tightness and stress on Achilles tendons and calf muscles, it causes supinaton. Either way, the stress on the outside of the foot radiates upwards and contracts your muscles causing or worsenening supination.

Plantar Fasciitis pain

Supination may also result in extra strain on the middle of your heel. There is a ligament connecting your heel to the toes, and it is known as the plantar fascia. When there is extra stress on the plantar fasciitis, you experience a sharp stab in the middle of your heel or along the arch of your foot. These were some very obvious symptoms of supination and if you suffer from this, you qualify for customized functional orthotics shoe inserts.

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