I get a lot of questions from people asking, What is Overpronation?  Overpronation is a relatively common ailment that describes the affect of foot movement with low or fallen arches.  Overpronation can cause pain in the ankles, knees, shins and hips. It is first however important to understand what pronation is.  Today we will go over a few basic things; first, what is pronation.  Second, what is overpronation? Third, what types of injuries are caused by overpronation? And last, what are some ways to remedy the situation.


So let’s get started.  What is pronation?  Pronation is a fancy term for your normal foot motion that occurs during your gait cycle.  (Gait is a fancy word for walking or running)  As your foot hits the pavement, it starts with the heel and rolls forward through the arch of your foot and onto the ball and then toes.  The description of all of the little movements that happen while all of this takes place is called pronation.  So in laymen’s terms, as the a heel hits the ground, the heal and the ankle roll slightly inwards, and weight is then transferred to the middle of the foot which causes the arch to flatten out slightly.  Pronation is completely normal, and is often mistake for overpronation which of course, is not normal. 


Now that we have a grasp on pronation, let’s move on to its ugly step cousin, overpronation.  As previously mentioned, the question of what is pronation comes up often.  Overpronation occurs when an individual’s heel strikes the ground on the lateral side.  As the weight moves from the heel to the middle of the foot, the foot rolls too far in an inward direction.  So what happens here is the arch of the foot, which is meant to absorb the shock of walking/running simply collapses rather than doing its job.  As a result, the ankle will roll inward and in most cases the person’s knee will move inward as well to compensate.  If you overpronate you will notice that the inner half of your shoe soles will wear out proportionately faster than the middle or outer half. 


There are a number of common injuries that are caused by overpronation.  So what injuries is overpronation associated with?  Specifically, overpronation knee pain and plantar fasciitis.  Overpronation knee pain is caused by the overcompensation that takes place as the ankle and knee roll inward upon the gait.  There are shoes available that can help reduce overpronation knee pain in most runners.  Plantar Fasciitis comes on as a result of the tearing and inflammation caused when the arch collapses. 


So now you know exactly what is overpronation, and you think you might even be an overpronater.  What should you do now?  Well you should consult your podiatrist.  But if you hate going to the doctor’s office like I do and have overpronation knee pain or plantar fasciitis, there are some home remedies you can try.  First, you’ll want to take a look at some overpronation shoe options found here.  These shoes have reinforced arch areas which will help reduce the roll of the foot during each step.  There are also some excercises listed on the same page which can help rebuild the little muscles inside the foot.