19 Jun What is Pronation and How Does It Affect You?
Ever heard the terms ‘pronation’ and were not sure what it means or how it impacts your feet or your running style? To put it simply, pronation refers to the way your foot rolls inwards when it strikes the ground to absorb the shock and support your body weight. However, some people’s feet roll inward too much or not enough and this can lead to running injuries due to less effective shock absorption. Since your feet are the foundation supporting the rest of the body, when they are misaligned or injured, they can affect other body parts, like the knee, hip or back.
Types of Pronation
- Supination (under pronators): Feet roll outwards, i.e. more weight on the outer edge of the feet. You need cushioning in your shoes to avoid impact injuries. Supination may increase your risk of ankle injury, iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis. Shoes that are well-cushioned and flexible are best for people who supinate. Motion control shoes, insoles, and orthotics are designed to correct your foot motion in overpronation.
- Overpronation: Feet roll inwards due to a collapsed arch. Look for shoes with support or structured cushioning. Overpronation leads to strain on the big toe and second toe and instability in the foot resulting in shin splints (also called medial tibial stress syndrome) and knee pain.
- Neutral pronation: Feet are stable and neutral, which mean you can wear a wide variety of shoes.
Did you know that all babies are born with flat feet due to the pad of fat in the arch that is present at birth? This will diminish as babies start walking and putting weight on their feet, leading to the development of the arch at 2-3 years old.
People with flat feet, low arches, or overly flexible arches tend to overpronate. Because your arches can’t support your step, your foot rolls too far inward, twisting your foot, leg, and knee and forcing your body out of alignment. Overpronating also forces the inner toes to take on all the work of pushing off for your next step, which can lead to foot problems like plantar fasciitis, bunions and calluses.
If you have flat feet, you need to visit a podiatrist who may recommend orthotics to correct biomechanical foot issues. Orthotics help cushion and support the arch so that weight is distributed more evenly while walking, running and jumping. When the arch is able to do its job in absorbing impact effectively, there will be less strain to the hips, back and legs.
What’s a Biomechanical Assessment?
At footinjuryclinic, we do a Biomechanical Assessment of your foot and leg function using state-of-the-art digital video analysis. This comprehensive gait analysis of the structure, alignment and function of your feet and legs while standing, walking and running helps our podiatrists recommend the most effective treatment for your foot problem as well as footwear to suit your foot function. We take 3D images of the whole foot, examine it, and then customise a foot orthotic using CAD/CAM technology. The precision Orthema system is Swiss-made and gives us the ability to provide patients with foot orthoses within a few hours on site.