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What Are the Best Tips for Running with Overpronation?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Overpronation occurs when a runner pushes off with the body's weight primarily on the big toe and second toe. When standing up straight, the ankles will have a tendency to dip inward, and the arches of the foot may even become less pronounced. Running with overpronation can become painful and inefficient, but a runner can take several steps to help alleviate pain, improve his or her stride, and make the most out of running. It is a good idea to visit a professional trainer who can give accurate advice for running with overpronation; he or she may even be able to do a gait analysis.

This gait analysis generally takes the form of several tests that will show how the runner's foot moves throughout the running stride. The professional trainer or analyst will then be able to come up with a plan for running with overpronation that will prevent pain and help make the running gait more effective. This may mean using orthotics specifically designed for that runner, or simply using more supportive footwear. In some cases, running with overpronation may involve re-training the foot to move in a different way to help prevent injury or chronic pain.

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Strengthening the muscles of the foot and lower legs will also help improve running with overpronation. Sometimes the pain associated with overpronation has less to do with the condition itself and more to do with the lack of conditioning of the muscles in the foot or lower legs. Sticking to a regular strength training regimen and stretching regularly can go a long way toward preparing the muscles for the strain of running, and such exercise programs can also help prevent injuries; strong, limber muscles are far less likely to become injured than weak muscles that are not used often.

Of course, if frequent or chronic pain is felt while running, it is best to stop the activity altogether in order to allow the muscles and other soft tissue to heal and to develop a plan for addressing the pain. Continuing to run while feeling such pain can worsen the condition and even lead to other injuries throughout the foot and legs. It is best to consult a professional to come up with a plan for running with overpronation; light stretching can be done in the meantime, and adequate rest should be granted to allow all muscles and tissues to heal. Ease into new running routines to prevent excess shock to the muscles and tissues in the foot.

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Feryll
Post 3

@Sporkasia - I agree that the majority of people learn the proper way to run naturally, but sometimes even these people "forget" how to run. What I mean by this is that sometimes because of a foot or leg injury people alter their running styles. Then when the injuries heal, they continue to run the wrong way instead of going back to their natural forms.

When this happens they eventually run into problems with the alignment in their lower bodies. And this is when a professional trainer, as mentioned in this article, might be able to identify and correct the problems.

Sporkasia
Post 2

Wouldn't you think that people would naturally know how to run in a way, so that they do as little damage as possible to their bodies? Shouldn't this be as natural as a baby taking his first step?

I once watched a baseball game on TV and the announcers were talking about how the coaches from one team were attempting to teach one of their players how to run. The guy was playing professional baseball and he was the fastest guy on the team, yet the coaches thought his stride was wrong.

To make a long story short, the coaches showed him how he was supposed to be running and he eventually injured himself. This marked the end of the running lessons, and the player went back to his preferred way of running, which had been working well for 20 plus years anyway. I'm simply saying, if it is not broken then why try to fix it?

Drentel
Post 1

For the last year or so, my feet have given me continual pain. The pain is usually more intense in the mornings. The bottoms of my feet are tender and they swell for short periods throughout the day. I have been to the doctor, but I still don't have a diagnosis. Now, I'm thinking that the discomfort and swelling could be caused by the way I run.

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