What is Overpronation?To understand “Overpronation” it’s important to first understand pronation. Pronation is a normal function of the foot. It is the inward motion of the ankle bone and outward motion of the rest of the foot bones. This occurs naturally when the foot hits the ground and weight is applied. Pronation is a good thing; it cushions the foot and the entire body and keeps the foot and ankles protected from hard impact and uneven ground surface. Overpronation occurs when the inward motion of the ankle bone is too much and goes past the healthy point of natural motion. People with Overpronation will visibly see their ankles role inwards, as shown in the image above and video below. Typically people with hyperpronated feet will also show signs of “too many toes” syndrome. In a normally pronated foot, you will only see the pinky toe and half of the fourth toe when viewed from behind. A person with “Too many toes” syndrome will appear to have extra toes when viewed from behind. You can also see this in the image above.
What Causes Overpronation?Misaligned feet cause Overpronation. When your feet are aligned, your ankle bone (talus) sits directly on top of your heel bone (calcaneus). The front edge of each bone is almost aligned with the other (the front edge of your ankle bone slightly overlaps the front edge of your heel bone) and there is a naturally occurring space in between, called the sinus tarsi. When your feet are misaligned, your ankle bone falls forward and out of line with your heel bone causing the sinus tarsi to close/collapse as demonstrated in the video below. Overpronation is almost always the first indicator of misaligned feet. In fact, it is not so much a symptom, as it is the visible collapse of the sinus tarsi.
Visual of a misaligned footMany people ignore Overpronation, or treat it as a phase that can be outgrown. However, left untreated, Overpronation can lead to all other symptoms of misaligned feet including bunions, heel pain (plantar faciitis), hammertoe, growing pains, back pain, knee pain, hip pain, shin splints and weight gain. It is common for those with Overpronation to be prescribed expensive orthotics or insoles.