Over pronation? Why it’s not the cause of your foot injury or inability to run.
Below is a great post at Kinetic-Revolution on the topic of pronation and why it is no longer looked at in terms of fixing a running injury. If you are one of the many that still say, “I can’t run because I over pronate”, don’t blame your feet! Pronation simply describes a normal motion that occurs in the foot and ankle (specifically it’s a triplanar motion) and is important in absorbing shock. It was once thought of as a culprit to many foot, ankle, leg and back injuries but we now know this is no longer true. It’s kinda like that fat free diet we thought was healthy turned out to be the cause of heart disease through the over ingestion of carbohydrates such as pasta and bread (another misnomer to runners who thought carb loading was necessary before a race). I too have treated many patients by attempting to control “over-pronation” with orthotics only to find out it’s not the answer. As a surgeon, my experience in fusing the joint know as the subtalar joint has made me realize the only true way to control or stop motion at this joint is to fuse it. Placing an insert in your shoe doesn’t really stop the motion. More importantly though, you don’t want to stop this motion. You don even need to control it. The foot needs strengthened, and your body needs to function the way it has been designed or evolved- with little or no support.
Read what Ian Griffiths has to say about pronation.
I’ve written this article to specifically discuss some of the literature regarding foot level pronation, and in doing so facilitate the conclusion that the term “overpronation” is neither accurate, descriptive nor meaningful, and should therefore be erased from modern day usage in both the lay and the medical communities.
– Ian Griffiths
The full post can be read here at http://www.kinetic-revolution.com/overpronation-accurate-or-out-of-date-terminology/
This is an excellent overview of pronation and the abuse of the term. In the ’60s ,I lived in a waterfront apartment near a large park. Like a lot of residents in this area, I ran regularly along the waterfront and through the park. In those days everyone ran in flats. These were sneakers with thin flat soles and no heel drop (elevated heel). I don’t recall any of my friends ever experiencing knee, hip or back pain. I didn’t. We just ran. As best I can recall, in the late ’60s shoe makers started to offer jogging shoes with features like 12 to 14 mm drop, flared heels and arch supports. Coincidental with the acceptance of these shoes, running magazines were suddenly running feature articles on over-pronation and the myriad of runner’s foot problems that needed interventions like orthotics. Up until then, I never heard of pronation. Things quickly escalated to the point where any and all pronation was bad, implying that we were the victims of an evolutionary fault and that even getting out of bed in the morning without putting on shoes with corrective orthotics ran the risk of over stressing the foot. Things got so bad that an obviously exasperated Peter Cavanagh stated in an article in book, The Shoe in Sport, “Scientists, physicians and shoe manufacturers occasionally suggest that pronation is harmful to the runner. This is certainly not correct.” In retrospect, the fact running injuries started when jogging shoes were introduced should not be surprising. The profile of the sole with its raised and flared heel dramatically lengthened the moment arms acting on the STJ at heel strike. This altered the heel strike pattern and the joint accelerations of the ankle/foot complex. As Bill Clinton might have said, “It’s the shoe stupid!” Do you have a like for Rae Griffiths article?
Further to my posted comment, do you have a link for the cited article? I would like to post it on my blog.