Monday, October 15, 2012

A Podiatrist's View on Overpronation

Podiatrist Ian Griffiths feels the word "overpronation" should be banished. In fact, he feels the term "overpronation" should be erased from current day usage in both the medical and lay communities. Surprised that this is coming from a podiatrist? Please read on.

Overpronation has often been blamed for causing injuries.  In fact, there is little evidence that excessive pronation causes injury for that matter. Griffiths' view (and yours truly as well) is that pronation is only one of many factors to consider when assessing an injured patient.

In truth, pronation is completely normal. Majority of data collected suggests that the average normal foot position is actually mildly to moderately pronated and not "neutral". In fact, some studies even suggest that a pronated foot type can be protective against injury.

This does not mean that you will not suffer from pain or injury associated with your foot movement or pronation patterns. This means that the relationship between pronation and injury is not consistent or predictable and poorly understood at best.

Most of my patients who wear motion control shoes have always been told by their Physiotherapist/ Podiatrist/ Sports Doctor/ running shoe shop assistant that they go to telling them they have flat/ low arches and that they need to control their "overpronation".  Well, now you know that there is actually very poor evidence that these motion control shoes achieve this. Based on what you now know, if the shoe store you go to (or physiotherapist/ podiatrist etc) tell you to choose shoes based solely on how flat your arch looks or how much you pronate then you'd better leave.... pronto.

*Here's the Ian Griffith's article.

Have a look here to read Griffith's view on running shoe selection.

I've also written about running shoes here and here.

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