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What is overpronation of the foot?

The way in which the foot functions or works will have a substantial impact on the rest of the body. The foot is widely regarded as the foundation of the body and just like the tall building analogy, if that foundation is not right, then something could go wrong higher up. There are many different kinds of biomechanical conditions that can affect that foundation and how the foot interacts with the surface. That connection will have numerous impacts higher up the body.

One of the problems that may go wrong is something that is widely termed “overpronation”. This word is often used and misused, so probably should be avoided. The word relates to the feet moving inwards at the rearfoot and also the arch of the foot collapsing. This really is quite a normal movement and is only a concern if there to an excessive amount of it. The reason why the term is such an issue is that there is no agreement about what is too much and what is normal. This leads to plenty of indecision in research as well as in clinical practice, especially when decisions have to be made if the overpronation ought to be addressed or not.

The impact that this problem may have on the body are believed to range from hallux valgus and heel spurs in the foot to lower leg and knee joint conditions in runners. There are various ways to treat it, again with a lot of disagreement among health professionals regarding the best way to deal with it. Rationally the management of the overpronation should really be geared towards the cause and there isn't any such thing as a one size fits all. When the condition is due to tight calf muscles, then stretches of those tight muscles would be the logical therapy. If the issue is the control of muscles at the hip, then the therapy ought to be geared towards that. If the problem is because of weak foot muscles, then that is the best place to start the rehabilitation with exercises. When the problem is because of a bony alignment issue in the foot, then foot orthotics will often be used.