What is overpronation? Watch the short video below before reading on.
So Runners World TV classifies overpronation as the foot rolling in more than 15 degrees on ground contact. They are brave to put a number on it as there are no established norms to this motion.
Pronation is a critical physiological movement that enables us to absorb force. If you don’t pronate you will become injured, simple as that. Overpronation is a judgement call usually based on a visual assessment in standing or a gait analysis on a treadmill.
Pronation involves movement at several joints, not just the foot, which is usually the only point of inspection. In addition to eversion of the calcaneus and ankle dorsiflexion, both the tibia and the femur internally rotate, whilst the trunk side bends and rotates to the same side.
A restriction in any of these motions will cause an increase in motion at another joint. If for example you lack internal hip rotation, your body may compensate by having your calcaneus move further out or evert further on ground contact. This will look much like the runner in the video above.
Using a motion control shoe to prevent this movement removes the body’s ability to compensate. This will have unforeseen consequences that may actually increase your risk of injury according to a recent study in The British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT) enables us to assess each joint involved in pronation to precisely locate where these range of motion deficits exist and the muscles involved. Activating the muscles we find weak or inhibited restores motion at the restricted segment and eliminates the body’s need to compensate.
We therefore address the cause of the problem rather than the symptom.