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Pronation is an important movement of the foot and initiates a cascade of events to aid the shock absorption of the body and stop the central processing unit of the body (the Brain) from being damaged. Everyone’s feet are unique, but there are three main categories of pronation.
On a healthy, neutral pronating foot, the first point of contact with the ground is the heel or mid-section. From here the foot will roll inwards so that your weight is evenly spread across the front half of your foot.
Neutral pronation provides the maximum amount of cushioning, balances the workload on your limbs and keeps your body correctly aligned. Many people, however, are prone to under or overpronating, click the links below to learn more about under and overpronation.
Under pronation, or supination, is when your feet do not roll inwards enough. This means that most of your weight is supported by the outside of your foot, and your body does not receive adequate shock absorption.
Because your feet are not providing enough cushioning, another part of your body has to step in, therefore the most common conditions are caused by strain and shock; stress fractures, shin splints, knee, hip and back pain are all common among under pronators.
Often happening when the arches of your feet are too high, under pronation is not as common as over pronation. If you think you are affected though, you can also check your shoes. Under pronator’s shoes wear faster on the outside edge.
Over pronation is when the foot rolls inward to an extent that the body cannot easily recover the movement. This puts excessive weight on the big toe and causes your leg to rotate inwards, twisting the knees and hips out of position.
Common conditions associated with overpronation are plantar fasciitis, bunions or metatarsalgia; at the ankle inversion sprains, Achilles tendonitis and posterior tibial tendonopathy, lower leg calf strains, anterior compartment syndrome (shin splints), knee pain, patella femoral syndrome, osgood schlatters, chondromalacia patellae, iliotibial band syndrome (runner’s knee), upper leg hamstring pulls and tightness, TFL problems, trochanteric bursitis and groin strain.
Many people, especially those with flat feet, over pronate. The quickest way to check if this is you, is to take a look at your shoes, over pronators’ shoes wear much faster on the inside edge.