Should runners be concerned about overpronation?

The way that the foot functions or works may have a considerable influence on the rest of the body. The foot is generally thought to be the foundation of the body and just like the tall building comparison, if that platform is not correct, then something might go wrong higher up. There are many different kinds of dysfunctional conditions that will affect that platform and how the feet interact with the ground. That interaction will have numerous impacts higher up the body.

One of the issues that could go wrong is something that is generally called “overpronation”. This term is often used and abused, so should probably not be used. The term relates to the foot moving inwards at the ankle joint as well as the mid-foot (arch) of the foot flattening. This is really quite a normal movement and is only a concern if there to an excessive amount of it. Why the term is such an issue is that there is no understanding as to what is too much and what is normal. This leads to plenty of indecision in research and in clinical practice, especially when decisions have to be made if the overpronation ought to be treated or not.

The outcomes that this problem can have on the body are claimed to range from bunions and heel spurs in the foot to lower leg and knee conditions in athletes. There are various methods to treat it, again with a lot of disagreement among health care professionals as to the best way to approach it. Rationally dealing with the overpronation really should be geared towards the cause and there isn't any such thing as a one size fits all. If the condition is caused by tight calf muscles, then stretching of those muscles would be the reasonable method. When the issue is the control of muscles at the hip, then the therapy ought to be directed at that. If the condition is due to weak foot muscles, then that's the best place to start the therapy with exercises. If the concern is because of a bony alignment trouble in the foot, then foot orthotics are often prescribed.

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