What is overpronation of the foot?

The way in which the feet function or works may have a significant influence on the rest of the body. The feet are widely thought to be the foundation of the body and just like the tall building analogy, if that foundation isn't right, then something can go wrong above. There are various types of alignment conditions that can affect that platform and how the foot interacts with the surface. That connection will have different impacts further up the body.

One of the issues that may go wrong is something that is generally termed “overpronation”. This phrase is frequently used and misused, so probably should not be used. The phrase relates to the foot moving inwards at the ankle joint as well as the mid-foot (arch) of the foot flattening. This really is quite a normal motion and is only a issue if there to too much of it. Why the word is such a problem is that there is no agreement as to what is too much and what is actually normal. This leads to plenty of indecision in research and in clinical practice, particularly when decisions have to be made if the overpronation needs to be treated or not.

The outcomes that this problem may have on the body are alleged to range from bunions and plantar fasciitis in the foot to lower leg and knee conditions in runners. There are several ways to treat it, again with a lot of difference of opinion among health care professionals as to the best way to treat it. Logically dealing with the overpronation 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 rational therapy. If the issue is the control of muscles at the hip, then the therapy ought to be aimed at that. If the problem is due to weak foot muscles, then that's the best place to begin the therapy with exercises. If the concern is because of a bony alignment issue in the foot, then foot orthotics tend to be prescribed.