Hey. Hi. Hello!
Let me start by saying sorry that this post is going up slightly later than usual today. I’ve had a WHIRLWIND of a week let me just tell you that. I was yelled at by more customers, had a TERRIBLE, ROTTEN, NO GOOD job interview (which I would LOVE to talk more about in a separate post because man, it really deserves it’s time to shine), and stayed up for almost 48 hours during which I watched the Red Sox knock the Yankees out of the Postseason and got into many many MANY arguments with Yankees fan’s after because they’re the actual worst.
All that’s to say that I was not so great at time management this week, and am now rushing to get this post up but also still make it some quality content at the same time. For today’s post, we’re gonna throw it back a little to the early days of this blog when I was writing posts for my own benefit to help me learn and decompress things. So, I apologize now if this post isn’t interesting to you, but hopefully you’ll come back Monday for something fun!
Anyway, if you’re still here, THANKS! Today’s post is covering the topic of overpronation. Like any good presentor will do, let me break down what we’re gonna cover today. I’ll give you the medical definition of pronation, overpronation, and their wonderful cousin supination. Then, we’ll hit some ways to fix overpronation or just general points of info in order to make it less severe. *Drinking game – take a shot every time I use the word overpronation. Kick your weekend off right!*
So, What is Overpronation?
Firstly, let’s hit what pronation is. Pronation simply refers to the foots natural movement during a stride. Basically, during your stride for walking or running, the foot has a natural tendency to roll inward slightly as a result of displaced body mass away from the center of gravity. A little bit of inward motion is okay, a lot a bit of inward motion is no bueno.
Anything that is considered beyond normal can cause many gait problems, such as shin splints, achilles tendinitis, runner’s knee, and plantar fasciatis. But, how can you tell if you may overpronate?
Well, overpronantion is most often associate with flat-footedness. In a standing position, overpronation is most clearly recognized by the arches of the feet appear to collapse inwards. Another way that I’ve often noticed myself overpronation when walking is that I’m CONSTANTLY rolling my ankles. Like, if i’m not at least somewhat concentrating on placing one foot down in front of the other, ya girl has an increased chance of ending up on the ground or with my foot stuck in a hole.
Approximately 50-60% of people are mild overpronators, while 20-30% of people are severe overpronators. The more the arch appears to collapse inwards, the more severe the overpronation may be.
Now, the opposite of overpronation is called supination. While I’m not going to discuss that today (because it doesn’t apply to me and I’m feeling a bit selfish today), it’s still important to mention, and I will hit on it in a future post. Supination is the exact opposite of overpronation, in that it’s the outward roll of the foot instead of inward. This can be seen in an indivdual, when standing, places more weight towards the outside of the foot.
Is there anything that makes overpronation worse?
Well, actually, yeah there is. Before diving into the treatments and solutions for overpronation, I want to talk about some stressors for it, because it is possible that people can develop overpronation throughout their life, and that sucks.
I’m going to make a generalization and say that a lot of people who overpronate were born with flat feet. However, there are a few circumstances that can cause a person’s arches to become weaker, creating flat feet and thus making them more susceptible to overpronation.
Those three causes are being pregnant, being overweight, and taking part in an activity that causes the foot to repeatedly strike a hard surface for an extended period of time (like running!! AKA playing soccer for 19 years yeah baby that’s me!)
Being overweight or obese and pregnant fall under the same category for the development of overpronation in that they’re both changes in weight placed onto the body. As a person puts on weight, whether through lifestyle/diet/health factors or through carry a human body inside them, they’re putting extra stress on their body, and during movements their gait is trying to compensate for that.
The third cause of the development of overpronation is most likely the category that I fall into. I’m not sure if I was born with flat feet or not, but literally from the age of two or wheneve, I was up and running around playing soccer. That’s 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 19 years of my life right there. And, soccer cleats are the most supporting thing in the world, so it makes sense.
Often time, when people pick up a sport or start running or whatever, they’re not going to go have their gait analyzed to find the right shoe, because usually people start sports young, and that’s a weird thing to do with a 2 year old. So, they’re going out and buying whatever cool shoe everyone is wearing, which may not be the best thing for them. After many years of this, the arch can start to wear down and give up (just like me, so relatable!)
Now that we know what it is and what causes it, how can we fix it?!
Good news for all of us overpronators out there, we’re not stuck walking like this forever! Bad news is, we have to invest a little time and money into getting our arches back to a good point.
There are basically three different measures someone can undertake in order to help fix and/or lessen the effects of overpronation.
#1 – Get Supportive Shoes
Shoes are great. We all need them to walk in. If you wear those stupid toe shoes get the fuck off this page, this content is not for you. But, shoes can also we our downfall, in so many ways. While on a daily basis I’m not going out and picking shoes that are supportive over looking nice, I do make sure that my shoes are supportive for exercise.
There are so many places that will analyze your gait and stride and help you find a pair of shoes that is going to help your feet during exercise. Don’t just head down to your local Foot Locker or Dick’s Sporting Goods. Seek out one of these running stores and find you a pair of shoe that works. I did this 5 years ago and found the UltraBoosts. After that, I knew which shoes to buy and have done so with great gusto.
But, a thing to look out for is time with the shoe. Back when I was playing soccer, I tore a tendon in my foot from overpronation because I had worn down a pair of cleats so much that there was nothing support my foot during play. After this, my PT told me that, because of my overpronation, I’d have to replace my shoes every few months in order to keep the arch support up. I’ve noticed that I can start to feel it in my feet when the arches of the UltraBoost have gone away. While it may suck to rotate through shoes so often, it’s an important step to keep your body in tact.
#2 – Wear Orthotics
This is the one that I hate. No, I’m not talking about nursing shoes orthotics, but rather a shoe insert. I went to a foot doctor who recommended some custom-made orthotics for my feet because I was getting serious knee injuries from walking. However, they were HECKA esspensive. So, I thought that I could just head on down to my local CVS, use the Dr. Scholls foot analyzer and get cheaper orthotics that way. NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. Didn’t work.
Now I’ve tried so many different version, and nothing has helped. Most of them just push my toes up towards the front of my shoes, which makes it even more painful to walk. While I fall into the category of most likely needing custom-fit orthotics, many people are able to wear regular orthotics and feel just fine and dandy. Must be nice. I’d consult a podiatrist first before jumping on the Dr. Scholls train.
#3 Exercise and Physical Therapy
This one is my favorite, because the exercise portion you can do FO FREE! While the safe and recommended way is by going to see a physical therapist for personalized recommendations to help fix your specific overpronation, the internet is a beautiful place that gives you access to so many different resources for overpronation exericses. My personal favorites are from Bosu because I love the added stability work incorporated with them.
However, there are 1001 different exercises across so many different training regimes, whether you like yoga, strength training, or agility. I’m not going to go into them all, because I’m not a physical therapist, but you can Google “fixing pronation” and find articles and videos galore. I’ve done some of them, especially a lot of the yoga ones, and they definitely helped, you just have to develop some level of consistency with doing them, which is something I lack.
If you made it this far in the post then go have a cookie and take a nap, you deserve it. I hope this helped some of you, but if not I hope you at least enjoyed reading some of it? Now I’m off to clean my apartment, paint my nails, and maybe plan a trip to Houston to watch the Red Sox.
Until next time!