There is a lot of misinformation on the topic of overpronation and with that misinformation comes a lot of misguided treatments. The first step in making sure you get the right treatment is to have a better understanding of what it means to overpronate. Once you have a good understanding of it, you will be able to pinpoint the source of the pain, treat it correctly and hopefully prevent the the injury from coming back.
Overpronation is most commonly heard about when talking about running. In very basic terms, pronation is what happens when your foot naturally distributes your body weight to support your frame as you walk or run. Most people overpronate when the arch of their foot rolls inward, toward the floor when they walk. It is also often found in people with flat feet. It is completely natural for your arch to roll inward a little as you walk, but too much inward rolling will cause a person to overpronate and if it not corrected, it can lead to other injuries.
One very common misunderstanding of overpronation is that it is an injury on it’s own. Most people overpronate–either their arch rolls inward too much or it doesn’t roll inward at all. The injuries actually occur as the foot is allowed to overpronate too long and will occur as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, bunions or Achilles tendinitis. It can also lead to knee and lower back problems.
In order to correct overpronation, it is best to have your gait examined by a professional. During the examination, they will typically watch you walk with your shoes on and off, then run with your shoes on and off. Seeing your foot in these motions will help you see how much you pronate when you walk and run. Generally, the most common treatment for overpronation is supportive footwear and orthotics. If the pronation is severe, you can have special orthotics fitted specifically for your feet. In addition to the supportive footwear and orthotics, special exercises and stretches can be done if the pronation is due to tight muscles or weak muscles in your feet and legs.
With a better understanding of overpronation, it will be easier to determine what the best method of correction will be and hopefully will prevent any serious injuries from happening.