You may have heard the term “overpronation” from a podiatrist in the past. Overpronation refers to an excessive inward rolling of the foot during motions such as walking or running. In many cases, overpronation can be easily treated with custom orthotics provided by your podiatrist. Read on to learn more about this common issue.
How the Foot Moves During Motion
When you run, you first push off from the ground with your back foot. This transfers your weight to the front foot. Your front foot hits the ground, rolling inward slightly to absorb the impact and keep you upright. This inward rolling is called pronation. Normal pronation means that the foot rolls inward about 15%, causing the ankle and knee to flex as the foot supports your weight and absorbs the shock of your motion.
What Overpronation Means
Overpronation means that your foot rolls inward more than 15% during motion. This greater than normal inward rolling motion puts stress on the ankles and knees. Your body is less stable and the shock of movement is not efficiently absorbed or dissipated. In addition, this means that instead of the ball of your foot and all five toes helping to push off the ground and propel you forward, your first two toes are doing most of this work on their own.
How Overpronation is Evaluated and Treated
The amount of pronation you experience when walking or running can be easily evaluated by your podiatrist. He will examine the profiles of your feet, ankles, and knees when standing, walking, and running. Overpronation is most often treated using custom orthotic inserts designed to fit inside your running shoes. These inserts give added support to your feet and ankles to keep them from rolling inward more than a healthy amount for better stability and shock absorption when running.
Your podiatrist at Austin Podiatry Centers can evaluate your gait to look for signs of overpronation. Schedule an appointment at any one of our offices throughout Austin TX. For more tips on keeping your feet and ankles in great shape, browse through the information on our website.