Do you suffer from excess pronation? Are you even aware of the concept? Do you know how it affects your gait and your feet?
Do you know what all kinds of problems you could face because of your feet pronating more than 15%? There are so many things you still don’t know about this one little problem that can cause so many big issues in the long run. We are seeing an increased number of athletes around us complaining of it and these also include not just occasional walkers and gym goers but also regular people who have just realized it.
Pronation is said to happen when the arch of your feet which is the weight-bearing area of it rolls inward. This happens when you are running and/or walking. Also if not looked into it, pronation can become a reason for many serious injuries to the foot, ankle and also your knee and lower back.
What Causes Pronation And What Are Its Major Symptoms?
The primary causes of foot pronation that we are aware of are mainly misalignments. This happens typically in the rearfoot and forefoot joints.
• Another major contributor to pronation is usually a structural misalignment of your bones. This problem is called the Morton’s foot which is characterized by the second toe growing longer i.e. the first metatarsal is shorter. This causes an imbalance of your feet and is mostly recognized as an inherent genetic trait.
• A rather large majority of the population suffers from an inward rotation and flattening of their arch. This condition could be excessive and places unnecessary strain on the muscles of your feet. The tendons and ligaments of your legs, thighs, knee, back, hip, and feet also get affected.
• Increased motion and force may result in shin splints and could also lead to stress fractures in your legs. One should get the condition looked into sooner if they don’t want to suffer from increased arch fatigue. This can turn into chronic strain and that typically leads to plantar fasciitis which is when the muscles on the bottom of your feet tear up. These attach your toes to the heel and this spells real trouble.
• Additional symptoms include the problems of the hip and lower back. These are usually found in people who are not that active. They discover it when they begin walking and gradually begin to over-pronate. Excessive inward leg rotation can lead to increased pain in the hip region. The chronic fatigue that develops in your lower body is due to the increased amount of work you are performing over pronated feet that leads to lower back pain.
• The biggest telltale sign of pronation would be your ankles bulging inward while walking, running and making heel contact with the ground. Your shoes will wear out soon and mainly on the outside area because of the pronation motion.
What Do You Think About Orthotics?
Orthotics could be a solution along with well-fitting shoes. These can and will provide good support to your feet in addition to shock absorption. Their firm heel counter supports pronation. Also enough padding starting from the heel of the foot to the space under the arch may give you more relief. Apart from this you can also choose home physical therapy. Go for ice massage for almost all kinds of pronation-related injuries. You can apply ice to the tender areas of the foot for around 10 minutes. Rub it lightly in a circular motion to enhance blood supply and reduce any inflammation. These are just a few examples of self-treatment. If you don’t see any results with these, it is time to treat pronation by using a reliable orthotics brand. They help in correcting the functional and structural imbalances of your foot. They work well in the long run and are ideal for you if you are suffering from a chronic condition.
Understanding Pronation For A Runner
Are you a runner? Do you like to participate in marathons? Do you like to run for the rush or the sweat? Do you like to compete at your gym with your workout buddies every now and then? If yes, then you have come to the right place. A lot of us either over-pronate or under-pronate, and this is the reason our performance gets impacted a lot. Pronation is not a new term for you if you’re a runner or have met a podiatrist or a sports medicine doctor. People who visit their physician for regular physical therapy or have bought running shoes already have some idea what it is but they still don’t know exactly it means.
So, What Is Pronation?
Pronation happens when your feet move inward. It is their inward movement where the foot rolls closer to you to optimally distribute the force of impact when you are running. People who have “normal” pronation will have their foot “rolling” inward about 15 percent. Their feet can support their body weight without any problem because they come in complete contact with the ground. Adequate pronation of your feet is very critical. It helps in proper shock absorption, and also lets you push off evenly from the ball of your foot right at the end of your gait cycle. Remember, pronation is natural. It is a movement of the foot that is designed by nature to hold us stable when we walk and/or run. The foot’s ability to roll is typically affected by the size and strength of the runner’s arch. These factors result in either supination which is also called under-pronation or over-pronation.
Importance Of Running Shoes In Combating Pronation
Running shoes have always been marketed and promoted heavily as a very effective way to counteract pronation and prevent injury. According to more recent research when people suffering from any such problems pick out running or walking shoes simply based on the fact what feels more comfortable to them, they can easily and efficiently reduce their chances of getting injured due to pronation and the resultant change in their gait.
It is because of this very reason that many major shoes manufacturers have started making shoes that are more than just lightweight or stylish. They are focusing more and more on comfort so that their sales increase and their customers can find more useful products.
Even your doctors and physicians would advise you to go for shoes that are ideal for the shape of your feet and are super comfortable to wear and also support your arch and pronation tendencies. Also if you are not sure what might be more suitable in terms of footwear, you can always seek a thorough analysis of your gait at any specialty running store.
What Is Over-pronation?
Over-pronation is said to happen when the outside of your heel makes the initial ground contact. This clearly means that your feet is rolling inwards more than it should which is ideally 15 %. This means you will have difficulty maintaining your balance while you run because your foot and ankle will have problems stabilizing your body. This also results in shock not getting absorbed as efficiently as it should.
You will see how the front of your foot pushes off the ground using the big and second toe at the end of the gait cycle. These toes are forced to do all the work and this causes extra stress and tightness in your muscles. So in order to prevent it you will be required to do a little extra stretching. Remember, too much motion of your foot may cause calluses, runner’s knee, and plantar fasciitis, bunions, and Achilles tendinitis. If you’re an over-pronator, the only and the best way to counter this problem is to choose a reliable over-the-counter or prescribed orthotics or arch supports and enhance the comfort of your feet while walking or running.