Do you over-pronate?

If you do, should you care?

The answer is yes! Over-pronation can lead to a host of problems in the joints, bones, and muscles, not to mention the feet.  These problems inevitably get worse over time.

But first, let’s back up a moment. What in the heck is “pronation” anyway?

In short, pronation describes the way your foot rolls inward when you walk and run, specifically, as your foot makes contact with the ground. Pronation is nature’s way of reducing shock on the feet, legs, and everything above, and it’s part of the “gait cycle,” or the interrelated sets of movements that keep you mobile while upright.

over pronated runnerPronation is problematic when it’s excessive (over-pronation). Think you’re immune? Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones. By some estimates, 77% of the population over-pronates during walking and running, to some degree.  That’s 3 out of 4 adults.

Those who over-pronate are 1) more susceptible to foot/ankle injury, like ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis and 2) are putting the entire body at risk. After all, with the body’s foundation (the feet) compromised–unable to do its primary jobs of providing stability and managing shock–the joints, muscles and bones up above become unstable.  They also get hit with more than their fair share of shock. Weakness and pain may occur, problems which worsen as the body ages.   

Have chronic low back pain? Your feet may be to blame.

Got hip pain? Your feet may be to blame.

Knee pain? (You know what we’re going to say next).

Check out this video we made for our Doctors, which helps them identify the 5 Red Flags of pronation in patients. It’s a little clinical, but you may find it useful in understanding pronation and what it can do to the body.

Whether you’re in pain now or not, we recommend everyone have their foundation assessed regularly by a health professional. If you have foot problems (and you may, even if they don’t hurt), orthotics can help.

You can find a health professional near you here.