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.
For those not familiar with the term pronation, you might be familiar with terms related to shoes and pronation such as ?motion control?, ?stability,? and ?neutral cushioned.? The terms motion
control and stability are typically associated with the word ?over-pronation? or a foot that is supposedly pronating too much and needs correction. According to the running shoe industry,
?over-pronation? is a biomechanical affliction evident when the foot and or ankle rolls inward past the vertical line created by your leg when standing.
Overpronation can be a contributing factor in other lower extremity disorders, such as foot pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle injuries, medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints), periostitis, stress
fractures and myofascial trigger points. Overpronation increases the degree of internal tibial rotation, thereby contributing to various knee disorders such as meniscal injury or ligament sprains.
The effects of the postural deviation are exaggerated in athletes due to the increase in foot strikes while running and the greater impact load experienced. When running, three to four times the body
weight is experienced with each foot strike.2 If overpronation exists, the shock force is not adequately absorbed by the foot and is transmitted further up the kinetic chain.
The best way to discover whether you have a normal gait, or if you overpronate, is to visit a specialty run shop, an exercise physiologist, a podiatrist or a physical therapist who specializes in
working with athletes. A professional can analyze your gait, by watching you either walk or run, preferably on a treadmill. Some facilities can videotape your gait, then analyze the movement of your
feet in slow-motion. Another (and less costly) way is to look at the bottom of an older pair of run shoes. Check the wear pattern. A person with a normal gait will generally see wear evenly across
the heel and front of the shoe. A person who overpronates will likely see more wear on the OUTside of the heel and more wear on the INside of the forefoot (at the ball). A person who supinates will
see wear all along the outer edges of the shoe. You can also learn about your gait by looking at your arches. Look at the shape your wet feet leave on a piece of paper or a flat walking
Non Surgical Treatment
Side Step with Opposite Reach. This exercise is designed to load the "bungee cord system" of the gluteal muscle and its opposite, latissimus dorsi muscle to keep the foot from overpronating. Because
the opposite arm swings across the front leg when walking, this exercise creates tension in the muscles all the way from the front foot, across the back of the hips and back, to the fingers of the
opposite hand. Movement Directions. Stand with left foot on top of the dome of the BT. (Note: For added balance, the right foot can tap on the ground, if needed). Reach right leg out to the side of
the BT, and tap the ground while squatting down on the left side and reaching right arm across the left knee. Push down with left big toe while squatting. This activates the arch of the left foot and
strengthens all the stabilizing muscles on the left side of the lower body. Return to starting position. Perform 8 to 10 repetitions on each leg.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your surgeon may recommend one or more treatment options. Ultimately, however, it's YOUR decision as to which makes the most sense to you. There are many
resources available online and elsewhere for you to research the various options and make an informed decision.