Pronation is a situation where your feet roll inward during normal movement. On the other hand, supination is a situation where your feet roll outwards during normal motion. Pronation occurs when your feet strike the ground and curves inwards then flatten out. Supination consequently occurs when you are pushing up your body while running to propel yourself forward. Moderate pronation and supination are required during motion for your feet to function correctly. However, excessive pronation or supination is not desirable because it overstretches your ankle muscles. Overstretched muscles can cause the muscle tendons and ligaments of the ankle to rapture leading to medical emergencies. Therefore, it is critical to understand pronation vs supination and what you can do to protect your feet from excessive ankle pressure.
Symptoms of Over-Pronation and Over-Supination
Besides adversely affecting your ankle muscles, over-pronation and over-supination can affect your knees, back, and hips. The following symptoms can be red flags for over-pronation and over-supination:
1. Heel pain during motion
2. Flat feet
3. Hip and back pain
4. Ankle Splints
5. Achilles tendinitis
Prevention and Treatment of Over-Pronation and Over-Supination
Several different methods can be used to treat over-pronation and over-supination, but the most common one is using orthotic inserts. However, a cheaper alternative that can be adapted to control and prevent the adverse effects of over-pronation and over-supination is selecting the right kind of footwear. Visiting a trained and qualified podiatrist can be a viable solution to help you understand the dynamics of your walking and running gaits. The podiatrist will help you select the right shoes for your walking and running gaits.
Choosing the Correct Shoes
The following points highlight the aspects that you should consider when choosing your shoes:
1. Shoes That Fit Your Gait Movements
Selecting the right shoe for your running and walking gaits is the first step to preventing over-pronation and over-supination. Choosing the best shoe-fit will save you much discomfort while working in the shoes and at the same time prevent unnecessary pain and injuries.
2. Shoes That Are Not Too Small/ Big
Shoes of appropriate size should be selected to prevent your feet from slipping off the shoes while walking/running. Your feet are three-dimensional, and the width and depth of the feet should be considered when purchasing new shoes. Considering all these dimensions will ensure that you get a perfect fit that will not hurt your feet.
3. Purchase Shoes After 12:00 Noon
Feet swell when it is hot. Therefore, to get your accurate shoe size, purchase your shoes in the afternoon hours when your feet are at their largest sizes. It may be so disappointing to discover that the shoes you bought in the morning are too small to fit your feet in the afternoon. The difference can be so significant that it reduces the size of your shoes by half a size.
4. Try Your New Shoes With Socks On
A common mistake that many people commit is trying new shoes without their socks then later realize that the shoes are too tight and uncomfortable for them. It is advisable to always try your new shoes with your socks on to leave some allowance for slight toe and heel movements.
Besides selecting the right footwear, performing a thorough warm up before strenuous activities, and engaging in balancing exercises that will help strengthen your ankle tendon muscles/ligaments is critical. The balancing exercises help in reinforcing your ankle muscles, protecting your feet from over-pronation and over-supination.
In a nutshell, running and walking are beneficial activities that help reduce adverse health risks. Getting physically fit for such activities will help you boost your speed, comfort, and enhance your exercise experience. Therefore, understanding pronation vs supination is vital at ensuring that we take corrective measures to protect our feet from over-pronation or over supination.