Running is a hobby taken up by many people across the country, however most runners suffer from pronation problems and therefore stop running all together. Unfortunately they use this first experience of discomfort as an excuse to not carry on. Firstly, they need to learn the do’s and don’ts on running.
Pronation is the medical term referring to the movement and weight distribution of a joint. In our case, it is how the foot distributes weight as a runner cycles through their gait. It is the body’s natural shock absorption process to roll inwards from heel towards big toe as we run or walk, but it is the action of that process in each individual that determines pronation. Pronation is commonly related to the natural profile of our feet.
There are three types: neutral, under- and over- pronation. A neutral pronator, the most efficient type, will transfer from heel to toe with a relatively straight and balanced movement. Under pronators transfer too far to the outside of their feet, and their gait can loosely be described as moving in a bow-legged fashion.
Over pronation is the process by which a runner transfers too much pressure to the inside of their feet as their foot falls laterally onto the heel and then comes through with big toe region taking too much of the strain as it pushes off the ground again. Evidence of over pronation can be easily found by examining the soles of an old pair of running shoes. If yours are more worn out on the outside regions of the heel and the inside part of the toes, then there you have it.
Traditional belief that it is simply the height of the arches of your feet that determine how you pronate has recently been called into question. While there is no doubt that in general higher arches should diminish the chances of over pronating, the action of the feet as they move is also a factor. To what extent your arches collapse and the foot becomes flat is a major contributor to your pronatory profile.
Plantar fasciitis, or “policeman’s heel”, inflammation of the tissue on the sole of the foot, is one of the many common conditions associated with over pronation. Needless to say inefficient shock absorption in the feet can lead to all manner of complaints in the knees, hips and back.
So what can you do about the natural shape of your feet affecting the way you run? First off, selecting the right running shoes is important. Stiffer soles will diminish collapsing of your arches to help correct over pronation. Similarly, a more flexible shoe will allow the foot to roll over more easily if you’re under pronating. If you suspect over pronation to be a major problem for you and you wish to take further action, go see a doctor or foot therapist. Check out Fall 2012 Top Running Shoes and Reviews for a better idea of some of the best shoes on the market as of now.
There a number of procedures that specialists use to examine a runners gait. Problems do not always result from the shape of your feet so it is important that you are diagnosed correctly. The angles and natural manoeuvrability of your hip, knee and ankle joints can all contribute to the way you pronate. Often orthotic solutions such as supports to assist or restrict movement in certain areas are the best way forward. Professional diagnosis could save you a lot of pain and heartache in the future. In addition, examining the way the run will not only protect you physically but also improve your times as you take a more energy efficient approach to covering the ground.
If in the end you have no luck in over coming your pronation problem. You should always be looking for other avenues to keep up your fitness and shredding those calories. Look into hobbies such as swimming and hiking to maintain your healthy lifestyle.
Author: This post was supplied on behalf of Simply Sweat online women’s sports clothing & sports bras store, based in the UK.