What is Pronation?
How would you define it?
Do you know how it affects your gait?
Do you know it can affect your shoe choice as well?
Simply put, Pronation is the rolling of our foot when we walk. It is the way our feet rotate or roll inward when we walk and /or run. It is a natural movement. It is totally normal and is a part of our walking cycle. Without it the natural movement of our feet will be impossible. Pronation helps our lower legs deal with the shock our feet have to bear while running or brisk walking or when playing any kind of sport.
The problem arises when we tend to pronate more that required which is called overpronation or when we pronate less than required which is called supination.
Though a little bit of either of these is not bad but problem begins when the degree of rotation increases and starts affecting the position of your feet. The shape of the lower leg changes and that changes your gait as well. This is when it starts affecting the way you run and that increases the likelihood of injury.
Understanding Pronation In Detail
Pronation occurs where the joint below our ankle is situated. It is called the subtalar joint and facilitates the inward rolling motion of our foot. It happens just after we touch the foot on the ground. This touching of the foot with the ground is called initial contact, and it is an important part of the gait cycle. It is also what helps us gain a firm stance.
Supination happens when there is a lack of inward roll. This will be characterized by an outward rolling of your foot during foot-strike. If you suffer from this problem, you will find that this motion causes you a lot of pain because it inhibits your foot’s ability to absorb the force generated by ground forces.
It is also called under-pronation. If your feet supinate, you will need a soft ride and will also need to ensure quicker heel-to-toe transition. Also, when choosing a pair of shoes, you should look for excellent flexibility. Minimum neutral and moderate neutral shoes will work perfectly well for someone struggling with supination.
Neutral is the alignment of your feet with your ankles. It happens when your feet and ankles form a straight line. The feet are more stable and the pressure generated from contact is well distributed across the heel and forefoot. You don’t have to invest in any kind of medially supportive shoes in this case.
A slight-pronation is very common and this is characterized just a bit of inward rolling movement of the foot. This too happens during foot-strike and is considered the ideal motion of your foot when running and walking. There is minimal or no risk of injury in this case.
Over-pronation is the excessive inward rolling of your foot during foot-strike. People suffering from it often complain of alignment problems within the legs. They might be struggling with a wide range of degrees of over-pronation. They can choose minimium, moderate and maximum support shoes depending upon their need and prevent any possible injuries.
Your pronation type is very important in enabling you to pick a shoe type just like it will dictate the kind of orthotics you should pick if the problem worsens over time. This is why your physician or doctor will recommend you to wear special running shoes that are specifically designed for different pronation patterns. Keep this in mind when you pick your next pair of running shoes.