Do I Underpronate or Overpronate? | How to Tell
When you take a normal step, you will find that a slight amount of pronation occurs. This is done to help ensure that the arches can take some of the shocks of the ground, and distributes the full weight of the body across the foot, rather than in just one area. This is normal when you are walking and running around and helps you be as efficient as possible.
There is a chance that the foot will turn inward or outward too much, which can affect your posture and may cause issues since you are no longer walking properly. This is when the foot is overpronating or under-pronating and both can cause some problems to the whole body. Let’s take a look at these two conditions and see why they can be such a problem.
What is Overpronation?
The first condition we will explore is known as overpronation. This is when the arch found naturally in the foot will start to collapse down and in. A doctor can call this condition flexible flat foot on some occasions as well.
The way that your foot is going to hit the ground has an effect on the rest of the body. If you end up overpronating your feet, it can put you at a higher risk of different injuries compared to those who have normal and healthy pronation. The good news is that there are different strategies that you can use to help treat the overpronation that you experience.
What Will Cause Overpronation?
When you are dealing with overpronation, the foot is going to roll inward and down more than it should. This can make your body go out of alignment and can even get painful if you do not deal with it the right way. There are a few conditions that will make it more likely that you can develop overpronation during your life. Some situations where you may have overpronation include:
- You have inflammation or damage to the tendon on the bottom of the foot
- You are overweight or obese
- You frequently play a sport that is considered high impact
- You have arthritis in the foot and it is affecting the ligaments and the cartilage.
- There is an injury found in the foot or the ankle that ends up affecting the alignment of the joints in the foot.
- You have a problem with the nerves that prevents you from noticing when the arch starts to collapse on you.
It is also possible that you will notice the issues of overpronation during pregnancy due to the extra weight of the child during the last trimester. The good news is that this type will often resolve itself once delivery occurs.
What are the Treatment Options?
When you are dealing with overpronation, there are a few treatment options that you will be able to discuss with your doctor to make sure that your feet are as happy and healthy as possible. Some of the most common options include:
- Choosing shoes that are supportive and can control the motion of your feet. A good pair of shoes can often work, but there are also overpronation shoes you can go with.
- Get a pair of custom orthotics that match your feet and can help force them into alignment.
- Consider NSAIDs to help manage some of the pain.
- Manage your weight with a good exercise and diet program if it is necessary
- If the pain and the condition get too bad, then you may need to talk to your doctor about surgery
- Doing some exercises and stretches that help to make the muscles of the foot and the arches a bit stronger.
The best course of action is to talk to your doctor to see what they can recommend helping with the issue of overpronation in your feet.
What is Underpronation?
It is also possible for you to underpronate when you walk as well. This is going to be the opposite problem, where the foot will start to roll too far out. This problem is going to be less common in the population, but it can still cause a good amount of trouble for those who have it.
Each time that your foot touches the ground or pushes off for another step, you are supposed to pronate to help absorb the impact and move forward. But it is possible that the foot will pronate, or supinate, and that will mean that the ankle will roll inward less than 15% when you land and push off. The foot will roll outward and puts pressure on the toes and ankles.
If you do not manage this issue, it can lead to a lot of pain around the foot, a major injury that you have to deal with, and damage to the tissues in the feet.
The Risks of Underpronation
There are several individuals who are at a higher risk of under pronation if they are not careful. While this is a rare condition, there are some characteristics for those who tend to deal with this condition and they include:
- Those who have higher-than-normal arches
- Those who have an Achilles tendon that is tight
- Those who have an injury in the leg or foot that ends up causing changes to their gait. This could be something like a knee injury, shin splints, and hammer toes.
- Those who wear shoes that do not support them
Symptoms of Underpronation
Depending on the level of activity that you like to participate in, symptoms of under pronation can be subtle. You may take a look at your shoes and start to notice that the edges are worn out on the wrong side. If you are someone who plays higher-impact sports and is active most of the time, you are more likely to notice the issue of under pronation more than others.
The most common symptom that you will notice with this condition is there is pain throughout the arch of the foot, the ball of the foot, and more as the ligaments and the muscles start to get strained. If it is left for too long, it can cause knee and back pain as well. Some patients will have bunions or calluses because the pressure is put on the toes too much.
How Do I Take Care of My Feet, Whether They Underpronate or Overpronate?
When it comes to the health of your feet, you want to make sure that they are able to walk and move around the way that they should. If they start to twist and turn in the improper manner, it can send the whole body out of alignment, leading to a lot of pain and suffering for the individual as they try to do some of their normal, daily tasks.
A good pair of custom orthotics would be able to help with both of these conditions. It will allow you to stop the foot from turning inward or outward too much, which will protect the foot and prevent a lot of injuries. Our team at Urthotics.com will be able to help you create a custom orthotic online, all from the comfort of your home to fix both of these problems.