Pronation is the inward movement of the foot as it rolls to distribute the force of impact of the ground as you run. The foot "rolls" inward about fifteen percent, comes in complete contact with the
ground, and can support your body weight without any problem. Pronation is critical to proper shock absorption, and it helps you push off evenly from the front of the foot. Although pronation is a
natural movement of the foot, the size of the arch can affect its ability to roll, causing either supination (underpronation) or overpronation. If you have a normal arch, you're likely a normal
pronator, meaning you'll do best in a shoe that offers moderate pronation control. People with flat feet normally overpronate, so they do well in a motion-control shoe that controls pronation.
High-arched people typically underpronate, so they do best in a neutral-cushioned shoe that encourages a more natural foot motion.
Unless there is a severe, acute injury, overpronation develops as a gradual biomechanical distortion. Several factors contribute to developing overpronation, including tibialis posterior weakness,
ligament weakness, excess weight, pes planus (flat foot), genu valgum (knock knees), subtalar eversion, or other biomechanical distortions in the foot or ankle. Tibialis posterior weakness is one of
the primary factors leading to overpronation. Pronation primarily is controlled by the architecture of the foot and eccentric activation of the tibialis posterior. If the tibialis posterior is weak,
the muscle cannot adequately slow the natural pronation cycle.
When standing, your heels lean inward. When standing, one or both of your knee caps turn inward. Conditions such as a flat feet or bunions may occur. You develop knee pain when you are active or
involved in athletics. The knee pain slowly goes away when you rest. You abnormally wear out the soles and heels of your shoes very quickly.
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 usually corrected with orthotics and/or strengthening exercises for the tibialis posterior. Massage treatment can relieve myofascial trigger points in the tibialis posterior, and
other muscles, and address any resulting neuromuscular dysfunction in the leg or foot. Biomechanical correction of overpronation might require orthotics, neuromuscular reeducation, or gait retraining
methods, as well. Stretching the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles will reduce hypertonicity in these muscles and also is essential for effective treatment. Because of impacts throughout the remainder
of the body, the detrimental effects of overpronation should not be overlooked.
Strengthen the glutes to slow down the force of the foot moving too far inward. Most individuals who over-pronate have weak glute muscles and strengthening this area is a must. A simple exercise to
strengthen glutes is lateral tube walking across a field/court/room. Place a lateral stretch band around your ankles and move your leg sideways while keeping your feet forward.