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Tips for Running with Pronation

by Patty Weasler, RN October 19, 2021 0 Comments

Man running outdoor

Correcting abnormal pronation, whether it is overpronation or underpronation, when running can help prevent injury and keep you running longer and safer. Pronation is the term used to describe how your foot strikes the ground when you walk or run. When you pronate abnormally then you are at risk for running injuries. Here we’ll talk about how running with pronation affects runners and how to correct it.

How Pronation Affects Runners

If you under or overpronate it can affect how your body handles the pressure and absorbs shock as your foot strikes the ground.

Overpronation

Overpronation is the more common of the two types of abnormal pronation. Overpronators find that during the gait cycle when their heel hits the ground their foot rolls outward past the 15 percent mark that is considered normal. With this, the body and joints are not stabilized properly and the shock of your foot strike is not absorbed correctly.

Runners who overpronate add extra stress and strain to their muscles. They may find this additional movement causes bunions, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, and calluses. To correct overpronation try strengthening exercises, insoles or orthotics to provide arch support, and stability shoes.

Underpronation

Underpronation, also known as supination, is when the foot rolls inward after the heels strikes the ground. This movement of the foot puts more stress and pressure on the medial aspect of the ankle and just like overpronation can affect the body and joints, just in a different way.

Supinators find that the impact of their stride is on a smaller area of the foot and therefore their weight isn’t distributed as equally. When a runner supinates, the added stress to their foot and ankle can cause iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fasciitis, or Achilles tendonitis. To correct how a runner underpronates they should perform stretches that work their calves, ankles, iliotibial band, quads, and hamstrings. Wearing neutral shoes will also help avoid injury and manage pronation.

Exercises for Pronation

Tips for Running with Pronation

When you run with over or underpronation you are putting yourself at a greater risk for injury. Here are our best tips for running with pronation to avoid that injury and to help you improve your sport.

  • Get a gait analysis to determine how much you pronate.
  • Use orthotics and insoles to position your foot correctly (find list of insoles here)
  • Buy your shoes from a specialty running store to determine the best running shoes for your foot type.
  • Look for running shoes that have plenty of cushioning and support.
  • Work with a physical therapist to evaluate and critique your running stride.
  • Stretch before and after each run.
  • Aim to run on softer surfaces and reduce running on pavement.
  • Perform these exercises aimed at improving pronated feet.
  • Strengthen the lower body to help correct muscle imbalances.
  • Don’t forget rest days.
  • Treat symptoms and work to fix pronation.

Stop Pain from Running with Pronation

Foot pronation is a natural movement that our foot and ankle make every time our heel strikes the ground. When you overpronate or underpronate your foot roll is moving outward or inward beyond the normal range. In runners, this can cause injuries to your joints and muscles. Thankfully, with orthotics, strengthening exercises, stretching, and the right shoes you can correct your pronation and run with more confidence.

Sources:

https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20077003/pronation/

https://www.runningwarehouse.com/learningcenter/gear_guides/footwear/pronation.html

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Patty Weasler, RN
Patty Weasler, RN

Patty Weasler is a freelance health writer and nurse. She is certified in critical care nursing and has been practicing for over 10 years. Patty lives in Milwaukee, WI with her husband and three children. She enjoys spending her time with family and educating people about their health.



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