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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What does over pronation mean?

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    Stewart Hayes

    Podiatrist (General)

    Stewart Hayes has experience as a podiatrist specialising in the area of “Sports Podiatry” since 1994 (the specialty dealing with biomechanical, sporting & overuse complaints … View Profile

    Pronation is an absolutely necessary part of gait as it provides shock absorption for your feet and legs.  It is the act of your foot hitting the groun on the outside of your heel and then having your foot roll inwards so that your arch compresses downwards.  The foot should then supinate (the opposite of pronation) to become a rigid lever for proulsion.

    Over pronation (I prefer the term Excessive) is the term used to describe someon who pronates too much, for too long or does not supinate at all.  Think of pronation as a car tyre that is leaning inwards - if used too much, it can cause problems elsewhere in the mechanics.  Excessive pronation is best treated with motion controlling footwear and depending on the severity of it, either off the shelf or custom made orthotics.  The level of treatment also depends on intensity of activity too - if you have a mild level of excessive pronation, but run say 50km a week, you are likely to wear stuff out prematurely. Conversely, if you are maximally pronated and walk daily, over time, you may also wear out joints and tendons. 

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