Tag Archives: foot

What is overpronation of the foot?

Overpronation is a word that creates plenty of angst among podiatrists and running shoe stores mainly because it creates a whole lot of misunderstandings and controversy. Pronation is actually a movement of the foot in which the ankle rolls inwards and the arch of the foot collapses. This is a normal healthy movement which is required for normal foot biomechanics and impact moderation. Overpronation is supposed to be the term employed to describe when there is an excessive amount of this normal pronation. The initial part of the controversy is precisely what is normal what is actually abnormal and exactly where could be the threshold of the split between normal pronation and overpronation. There are strong opinions on every side of this debate and there does not appear to be any solution in the debate on the horizon.

The reason the subject produces a whole lot of discussion is that overpronation continues to be regarded as a primary aspect in overuse injuries in athletes. Podiatric doctors commonly use foot supports to take care of the problem and running shoe manufacturers design running shoes to help runners that have the problem. This suggests there is lots of vested interest in it. The problem arises is that the research evidence shows that, yes, overpronation is usually a risk factor for a running injury, however it is not much of a significant risk factor. It's even more complicated by a lot of runners who may have fairly severe overpronation and never develop any issues and never need foot supports or running shoes using the motion control design features. That will not help resolve the debate nor help clinicians make choices re foot orthoses and for running shoe merchants on advice as to what needs to be the correct running shoe. It really is dependant on clinicians and running shoe retailer’s individual experience and expertise and making conclusions in the perspective of what is ideal for the individual runner.