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What is Pronation?

If you’ve ever tried running, you may wonder, “What is pronation?” Basically, this term describes the way your arch drops as your foot hits the ground when you run.

Why do you need to know about pronation? Well, proper pronation helps your body take some of the stress of running off your feet. But, if you over or under pronate, problems can develop. And that’s when you may face a running injury.

Want to stay safe? Our Spring and Tomball TX podiatrists want that for you too! So keep reading to learn more about pronation, and how we can work with your natural gait to help prevent running injuries.

Overpronation  feet running what is pronation

Every runner needs to pronate, but in this case, there can be too much of a good thing—overpronation. Basically, if your arch collapses too much during your foot strike, then your foot can roll outward, changing your gait in a way that increases your injury risk.

Why is that the case? When you overpronate, your foot makes more contact with the ground with each stride. And that can lead to more foot and lower leg pain in the short term. In the long term, it increases your risk for overuse injuries such as Achilles tendinitis and shin splints.


Identifying Overpronation

The best way to learn what is pronation in your stride is to come in for a gait analysis. But, at home, you can tell your pronation style by looking at your sneakers. If your sneakers show more wear near the arch of the shoe, that could be a sign that you overpronate.  Keep in mind that you’re more likely to overpronate if you have flat feet, are pregnant, carry extra weight, or always run on hard surfaces.


What is pronation: understanding supination

Supination is overpronation’s exact opposite. If your arch stays high off the ground with your foot strike, it will roll too far inward, which can also lead to pain and injury.  Not sure if or why you’re supinating? There are many reasons, and shoe fit can be a big one. But if you’re not sure whether or not you supinate, check your sneaker sole. Excess wear on the outside of the shoe suggest you under pronate.

What is Pronation: Could it Be Dangerous?

Some over and under pronaters never have a problem. But others may experience running injuries, or even change their anatomy. (Over pronation can increase your risk for bunions.) So, if you experience regular running pain, and you’re concerned about pronation, what are your options?

Here’s the good news: we can help change your pronation style if it’s problematic. First, you can work with a running coach our in-house athletic trainer to improve your gait. Some changes that could help include stepping at a faster rate, to reduce the amount of time your foot spends on the ground.

You can also work to strengthen your lower legs and ankles, and incorporate regular strength training into your weekly workout routines. Stretching can also help improve your gait, since tight muscles and tendons may contribute to pronation or supination.

Additionally, it’s important to buy your sneakers in person, and make sure they feel good on your feet immediately. Finally, you may benefit from adding custom orthotics to your shoes, especially if flat feet are the reason why you pronate.

Custom Orthotics for Pronation

Why can orthotics help with supination and over pronation? Well, orthotics are custom medical devices we design to compensate for your body’s inefficiencies. When you wear orthotics as you run, this can help your foot work more efficiently. And that can correct pronation issues.

Ready to get help with your gait and reduce running pain? We’re here to help. Schedule an appointment at our Tomball or Spring TX podiatry office. We can provide you with an orthotics consultation and explore other ways to reduce your running pain!