You most likely have heard the term “overpronation” before, but what is it exactly? To understand that, we need to take a step back and look at what pronation is. Pronation is the natural movement of the foot that happens when it lands during walking or running. If you have neutral pronation of the foot, the weight of your body is evenly distributed amongst all of your toes, with slight emphasis on the big toe and second toe. With overpronation though, the arches of the foot falls or collapses too much inward.
What is Overpronation?
For the majority of people, overpronation is a genetic issue. Sometimes though, it can be caused by poor posture, overuse, or weakness. Overpronation isn’t considered an injury, but left untreated, it could turn into one. For example, with overpronation, the ankle rolls inward which causes the lower leg to rotate inward as well. This then places extra force on the knee, which puts you at risk of a knee injury.
The knee isn’t the only thing affected by overpronation. Often, when people overpronate while walking or running, it is possible to rip tiny tears in the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes. Too much stress to the plantar fascia can result in plantar fasciitis.
How to Know if You Overpronate
There are a few ways to find out if you overpronate. The easiest way is to simply look at the soles of your shoes. If the majority of the wear on your shoe is towards the inside or middle edge of the back of the sole, then that’s a strong indication you overpronate.
Another way is to do the “wet feet” test. For that, get the bottom of your feet wet and walk across a piece of cardboard or any surface that would show your footprint. If you have a healthy pronation, your feet will leave a mark that shows the heel and front of your foot connected by a thin strip of the outside of your foot. If you overpronate, the entire bottom of your foot will show in the footprint. This means the entire bottom of your foot is making contact with the floor.
What Can You Do If You Overpronate?
If you have feet that overpronate, there are a few options to correct it. The first is to invest in some shoe inserts or “orthotics”. The shoe inserts will help lift the arch of your feet which will stop your ankles from rolling inward. Purchasing inserts for every pair of shoes you have may get pricey.
Another option that works regardless of shoes you wear is The X Brace, an elastic foot brace. The elastic works to support the arch of your foot. Since the elastic is thin and simplistic, it can be worn under your socks with any type of shoe. You can learn more about the X Brace and it’s versatility here.
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