Overpronation is a term used to describe excessive flattening of the plantar arch. Pronation is a normal part of our gait (the way we walk), and it comprises three movements: dorsiflexion, eversion,
and abduction. Dorsiflexion is the upward movement of the foot, eversion describes the foot rolling in, and abduction is ?out toeing,? meaning your toes are moving away from the midline of your body.
When these three motions are extreme or excessive, overpronation results. Overpronation is very common in people who have flexible flat feet. Flatfoot, or pes planus, is a condition that causes
collapse of the arch during weight bearing. This flattening puts stress on the plantar fascia and the bones of the foot, resulting in pain and further breakdown.
There is a relationship between biomechanics and injury that is specific to each body part. Overall though, poor mechanics will either increase the landing forces acting on the body or increase the
work to be done by the muscles. Both increase the stress, which, depending on the individual and the amount of running can become excessive and cause injury.
Because pronation is a twisting of the foot, all of the muscles and tendons which run from the leg and ankle into the foot will be twisted. In over-pronation, resulting laxity of the soft tissue
structures of the foot and loosened joints cause the bones of the feet shift. When this occurs, the muscles which attach to these bones must also shift, or twist, in order to attach to these bones.
The strongest and most important muscles that attach to our foot bones come from our lower leg. So, as these muscles course down the leg and across the ankle, they must twist to maintain their proper
attachments in the foot. Injuries due to poor biomechanics and twisting of these muscles due to over-pronation include: shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, generalized tendonitis, fatigue, muscle
aches and pains, cramps, ankle sprains, and loss of muscular efficiency (reducing walking and running speed and endurance). Foot problems due to over-pronation include: bunions, heel spurs, plantar
fasciitis, fallen and painful arches, hammer toes, and calluses.
Bunions, calluses and crooked toes may indicate alignment problems. So, it is important to ascertain the condition of a client's toes. Check the big toe to determine if the first joint of the toe is
swollen, has a callus or bunion, and/or looks as though it abducts (i.e., hallux valgus) rather than pointing straight ahead. Also, look to see if the lesser toes seem to "curl up" (i.e., the person
has hammer or claw toes). This may be indicative of damage to, or inflexibility of the plantar fascia caused by excessive flattening of the foot.
Non Surgical Treatment
Pronation and supination are bio-mechanical problems, and are best treated and prevented with orthotic inserts. But before you run out to buy orthotics it makes sense to get the right advice on
footwear, and the best advice I can give you, is to go and see a qualified podiatrist for a complete foot-strike and running gait analysis. They will be able to tell you if there are any concerns
regarding the way your running gait is functioning. After your running gait has been analysed, have your podiatrist, or competent sports footwear sales person recommend a number of shoes that suit
your requirements. Good quality footwear will go a long way in helping to prevent pronation and supination. And, if needed, invest in a pair of orthotic inserts to further prevent excessive pronation
With every step we take, we place at least half of our body weight on each foot (as we walk faster, or run, we can exert more than twice our body weight on each foot). As this amount of weight is
applied to each foot there is a significant shock passed on to our body. Custom-made orthotics will absorb some of this shock, helping to protect our feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.