I often have to explain overpronation to a number of my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood chiropractic clients. I have finally found a video (please see below) that does a great job illustrating what happens to the feet during the gait cycle when overpronation is an issue.
Overpronation is an excessive turning in of the feet (to be more accurate for you doctors out there–pronation a combination of eversion, abduction and dorsiflexion). Pronation is a natural movement that we all do (or are supposed to do, anyway) during the foot-strike phase of the gait cycle (walking). Pronation is necessary to adapt to the surface of the ground when we take a step.
Overpronators, then, turn their foot in excessively causing a chain of events occurring up the foot, leg and thigh, and eventually into the back, which can lead to excessive wear and tear on joints and cause pain. Some common maladies attributable to overpronation are:
- foot pain
- plantar fasciitis (burning heel pain)
- tight calves
- shin splints
- knee pain
- meniscal tears
- tight iliotibial bands (leading to outer thigh and knee pain)
- tight hip flexors
- low back pain
- and more
The real way to correct overpronation, and thus prevent any of the above issues from becoming chronic and leading to breakdown, is the use of custom-made orthotics. Despite a current trend toward believing (hoping?) that barefoot running is the solution to all foot dysfunction, low back pain, goiter, syphilis and every other malady of the modern world, I can assure you I have seen nothing better for resolving musculoskeletal problems caused by overpronation than orthotics (and, believe me, people have been trying).
Watch the video below to get a clear picture of what is happening during overpronation.