Pronation Injuries: Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing

Pronation injuries are prevented with orthoticsRunning can be a solitary or group activity. Many people run on their own so they can set the pace, while others prefer the social aspect—and motivation—of running in a group. That’s why clubs like the Empire Runners Club in Sonoma County exist. They allow runners of all skill levels to learn from each other and train for local races. Whether you’re an avid runner involved in a club or a beginner exploring the sport, though, you should be on the watch for pronation injuries. They can happen whether you pronate too much or too little.

Pronation is the motion your foot makes when it strikes the ground. It rolls inward slightly, distributing the force of your impact and allowing you push off the front of your foot evenly. It’s a normal and important mechanic for your feet. However, you can either over or under-pronate as well, which can lead to injuries.

Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls too far inward, destabilizing the ankle and directing the majority of the shock and force to the big toe and inside of your arch. You don’t push off the ground evenly, either, which can strain your toes. Over time, overpronation may strain your ankles, knees, hips, and back.

Underpronation is not as common, but it can also cause problems. If your foot doesn’t roll inward enough, the force and shock is directed down the outside of your foot. Your push-off is then handled by the smallest toes. This forces them to handle more strain than they should, potentially causing overuse injuries.

Shin splints, tarsal tunnel syndrome, and tendonitis are a few of the pronation injuries that can arise. The key to preventing these, then, is understanding your pronation style and taking steps to accommodate it in your footwear and orthotics.

If you’d like to have your gait and pronation analyzed, or are already struggling with overuse injuries, let us know here at John D. Hollander, DPM, in Santa Rosa, CA. You can request more information or an appointment with us by calling (707) 578-1222.

Photo Credit: Grant Cochrane via

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