Is overpronation a problem for runners?

By | October 23, 2021

The way that the foot functions or works can have a significant influence on the rest of the body. The feet are generally thought to be the foundation of the body and just like the tall building comparison, if that foundation is not correct, then something can go wrong above. There are numerous kinds of dysfunctional problems that will affect that foundation and how the foot interacts with the ground. That interaction will have numerous affects further up the body.

One of the issues that can go wrong is something that is generally called “overpronation”. This word is often used and abused, so probably should be avoided. The term relates to the foot rolling inwards at the ankle joint as well as the arch of the foot collapsing. This is quite a normal motion and is only a concern if there to an excessive amount of it. Why the term is such a problem is that there is no consensus about what is too much and what is normal. This can lead to plenty of indecision in research and in clinical practice, particularly when choices have to be made if the overpronation ought to be taken care of or not.

The impact that this problem can have on the body are alleged to vary from bunions and heel spurs in the feet to lower leg and knee problems in athletes. There are several ways to treat it, again with a lot of difference of opinion among health professionals as to the best way to approach it. Pragmatically the treatment of the overpronation ought to be directed at the cause and there isn't any such thing as a one size fits all. When the condition is due to tight calf muscles, then stretching out of those muscles would be the reasonable therapy. If the problem is the control of muscles at the hip, then the treatment ought to be aimed at that. If the problem is due to weak foot muscles, then that's the best place to begin the therapy with exercises. If the concern is because of a bony alignment issue in the foot, then foot supports are often used.