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Overpronation—What does it mean?

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Overpronation is one of the most common issues plaguing people with feet. Sometimes it's problematic, and other times it has no effect at all.

What is Pronation?

Pronation refers to the natural motion of your ankles "rolling in" and your arch flattening. It is a completely normal motion, and should be part of everyone's gait—it is how our feet are able to adapt to uneven terrain as well as absorb shock. Every step you take your feet pronate initially, and then switch directions and begin to supinate or "roll out" just before your toe leaves the ground. When this pronation becomes a problem is when the tissues that resist pronation become overworked by the constant task of bringing your arch back up.

foot postures and pronation

If you've ever been told—by your doctor, physio, or even a shoe store employee—that you overpronate, what they are seeing most likely is a flattening of your arches. Your shoes may even show increased wear on the medial (inside) side. Because your feet are inherently more flexible when in a pronated state, the tissues are stretched further and the musculature surrounding your feet must work that much harder to reinstate some stability. Over time, this has the potential to lead to overuse injuries within the soft tissues of your medial foot and ankle. Conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and even bunions can be linked to overpronation.

How Can a Pedorthist Help?

Thankfully, one of the things that orthotics do best is to control overpronation, or rather reduce the detrimental effects that it can have on our feet and legs. From the results of your biomechanical and gait assessment, your Pedorthist will identify your unique correctional needs and implement them into the design of your orthotics.

In addition to orthotics, proper supportive footwear will likely be recommended. Look for wider soles, and a shoe that isn't too narrow.

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