How Does Overpronation Affect The Way You Run?
When a runner overpronates, it means that the foot rolls inward as you run. To break it down in more detail, the heel typically impacts first. Then, your foot will roll inward toward the arch. Overpronation can lead to your feet flattening, which can lead to some problems for runners.
How Common Is Overpronation?
An extremely common thing, about 99% of the population has some degree of overpronation. However, for many people, that overpronation does not really bother them at all.
The key is how much you overpronate and if it bothers your body. Unfortunately, there are people whose overpronation causes physical pain and discomfort.
How Do You Fix Overpronation When Running?
There are three main ways you can attempt to either fix or compensate for your overpronation. Those tactics include wearing supportive shoes, purchasing and using orthotics, and/or doing exercises.
Most running shoe stores will put a person who overpronates in stability shoes. This stability can help many athletes prevent injuries. Designed to stop your feet from rolling when you run, the idea is to keep your feet better aligned with your legs.
You can also try orthotics to correct your problem. Orthotics are available either over the counter or custom-made by a podiatrist. If you are having significant pain and/or injury from how you run, consider a visit to a foot specialist before making any decisions. The last thing you want to do is to take steps backward in treating your injury the wrong way.
There are also exercises you can do to help correct your pronation.
If you are trying to figure out how to help if you are an overpronator, you are in the right place! Learning how to fix overpronation can lead to exercises like these. Will it completely alleviate your pronation? Not likely but you can make it less pronounced and impactful on your run.
Rolling Feet: Stand with your legs shoulder-distance apart. Roll your weight first to the outside of your foot then back to normal stance. Repeat.
Seated Calf Stretch: Sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Flex your feet. Hinging at your waist, bend forward and try to touch your flexed toes. Hold for :20 – :30 seconds, release. Repeat.
Jump Squats: To do a jump squat, you stand with your feet hip-width apart. Create a hinge with your hips by pushing your butt back and down into a squat until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Jump up in a powerful movement. Repeat.
Single-Leg Deadlifts: Stand with both legs together. Holding a weight in your hands, hinge at your waist and lift one leg up off the ground behind you. Slowly raise that leg until it is parallel with the ground. While doing this, with straight arms, drop them toward the ground.
Glute Bridges: Lying on the floor with your feet planted firmly on the floor, knees bent. Slowly lift your hips off the ground until your legs form a straight line to your hips and shoulders.
Calf Raises: Standing on a step with your toes on the edge and heels hanging off, slowly do calf raises and drops.
Does Overpronation Cause Plantar Fasciitis?
Since roughly 10% of the population suffers from plantar fasciitis, it is tough to say what the cause is. However, it is well known that runners who overpronate are more likely to suffer from certain injuries. When you overpronate, your foot’s movement stresses other parts of the body. This stress can lead to problems.
In addition, there are overuse injuries that couple with the movement to cause potential problems. This is, of course, true of the fascia band, which leads to the dreaded PF.
Plantar fasciitis is usually most signified by heel pain. This pain is often most pronounced first thing in the morning, after a night’s sleep. This is because your foot relaxes during the night and the PF ligament shortens, causing pain when you move it in the morning.
Does Overpronation Cause Shin Splints?
Overpronation will cause the runners’ tibia to twist. This twisting motion leads to over-stretching of the muscles.
If you have shin splints, the first way to treat them is by resting your legs. You can also use ice and an anti-inflammatory over-the-counter drug to help ease the discomfort.
For me, I feel it when my shoes start to get old and broken down in my shins first. If I ignore that initial discomfort, it leads to actual pain. That becomes shin splints. Discomfort is your body trying to tell you something and you need to listen!
Can Overpronators Run in Neutral Shoes?
Designed for people with a neutral or “correct” running pattern, neutral shoes do not have the stability that many overpronators want in a shoe. Although for many years overpronators were told to put themselves in a stability shoe, not everyone agrees with this practice.
There is a new school of thought regarding how much support a person needs, or should have, in their shoes. Proponents of the minimalist movement, for example, would tell you that you should just let your feet do what they naturally do. Some research supports that trying so hard to correct your foot movement can actually make you more prone to injury than just letting your feet move.
Using that logic, it stands to reason that some overpronators could run in neutral shoes. Having said that, if the shoe you are wearing is working for you… should you change things? My vote is not necessarily.
So, does overpronation impact your running? Probably. First, it can lead to injury for some athletes. Second, you may experience some muscle instability.
It is, however, also important to note that some runners really do not realize or recognize any impact of pronation on their running. In their mind and world, it is simply how their body moves.
If someone speaks to you all up in arms about how your feet move or roll and it does not seem to bother you in the slightest, just keep running.