Pronation, in anatomical terms, means to rotate, and it applies to any rotational movement of a bone. Pronation in the feet involves an inward rolling of the foot throughout the gait which helps with
the transfer of force. Normally the foot will move from the heel to the toes with only a small degree of pronation, with a slight inward roll from the outside of the heel to the inside of the foot
which helps to support the body weight. Normal pronation involves the rolling of the foot to approximately 15 degrees. If you have normal foot arches, you are likely to be a neutral runner and will
most likely pronate normally.
Flat feet don't automatically mean you have a problem. The problem can be divided into a flexible flat foot or rigid flat foot. The rigid flat foot is one that does not change shape when the foot
becomes weight bearing. i.e. it does not go through the excessive motion of pronation. Generally speaking this foot does not provide too many problems. The flexible flat foot is the type that when it
becomes weight bearing the foot and ankle tends to roll in (pronates) too far. This type of person will often say I have great arches but when I stand up much of this arch disappears as the foot
excessively pronates When the foot is excessively pronating and causing problems like sore ankles, feet or knees when standing or exercising then arch support is extremely important to restore the
People with overpronation may suffer from pain in the knees, hips, and low back. Overpronation itself does not necessarily cause any other symptoms but is a contributing factor of many foot
conditions such as Plantar Facsiitis, Heel Spur Syndrome, Posterior Tibialis Tendon Rupture or Tendonitis, Hallux Valgus, Bunion Deformities, Metatarsalgia, Hallux Limitus or Hallux Rigidus, Hammer
Toes, and Morton?s Neuroma.
If you cannot afford to get a proper gait analysis completed, having someone observe you on a treadmill from behind will give you an idea if you are an overpronator. It is possible to tell without
observing directly whether you are likely to be an overpronator by looking at your foot arches. Check your foot arch height by standing in water and then on a wet floor or piece of paper which will
show your footprint. If your footprints show little to no narrowing in the middle, then you have flat feet or fallen arches. This makes it highly likely that you will overpronate to some degree when
running. If you have low or fallen arches, you should get your gait checked to see how much you overpronate, and whether you need to take steps to reduce the level to which you overpronate. Another
good test is to have a look at the wear pattern on an old pair of trainers. Overpronators will wear out the outside of the heel and the inside of the toe more quickly than other parts of the shoe. If
the wear is quite even, you are likely to have a neutral running gait. Wear primarily down the outside edge means that you are a supinator. When you replace your running shoes you may benefit from
shoes for overpronation. Motion control or stability running shoes are usually the best bet to deal with overpronation.
Non Surgical Treatment
Overpronation is a condition in which the foot rolls excessively down and inward. The arch may elongate and collapse (or ?fall?) and the heel will lean inward. Overpronation should not be confused
with pronation. Pronation is a normal motion of the foot during weight bearing and allows the foot to absorb shock as it contacts the ground.
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.