Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
We’re gathered here today to finish our walking trilogy. After explaining the importance of your posture in this first article, you got to understand what was the right stride to adopt during our last encounter.
But I’ve kept the best for last. The champion of back pains, the King of bad posture, the enemy of podiatrists: the foot. And more precisely, your foot pattern.
The Foot pattern
The foot pattern is the phase during which your foot hits the ground (usually with the heel), rolls on the ground before elevating to propel your body forward (using the front part of your foot).
To get an ideal pattern, you should strike the ground with the outer part of your heel, slightly move your foot inwards (light pronation movement) to lay it flat. From there, your body’s propulsion should be triggered by the front part of your feet for an optimal movement.
However, this ideal pattern is pretty rare. Indeed, a foot naturally has pronation (moving inwards) and/or supination (moving outwards) phases while walking.
Having a slight tendency to one or the other is very common and often harmless. However, when this tendency is too important, it can cause distortions and pain in the whole body.
Pronation, supination and risks
When you’re walking, your foot first hits the ground with the heel.
If you’re pronator, your foot will then twist outside, using the outer part of your foot and smallest toes to support your weight.
Pronators often have a rather flat foot, the body being mainly supported by the inner part of the foot. On the contrary, supinators have quite arched feet, the pressure on the arch being less important.
What are the risks of such patterns?
In case of hyper-pronation, instead of propelling your body with the whole foot, you will mainly rely on the inner part of your foot. Pronation therefore add pressure on the inner part of your leg; a distortion the body will have to adapt to. Your knees and hips won’t be in your body’s alignment anymore.
This could lead to joint pains, especially in the ankle and knees, but also to hip and back aches. Indeed, even if your body adapts –to a certain point – to your way of walking, a big, long-lasting deformation will eventually become painful and could cause injuries.
Hyper-pronators are more easily touched by tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, Patellar syndrome (due to the patella’s displacement) and other issues caused by a poor alignment of the legs.
A strong supination, on the other hand, puts more pressure on the muscles and tendons that stabilize your ankle, which can provoke important pains and tissues elongations. The foot being extremely arched, supinators can really suffer in the foot arch and heel areas. Moreover, this high arch reduce the foot’s ability to absorb shocks, these latter hitting your legs and back with a higher impact.
Supinators are more easily touched by ankle sprain, ligament tearing, tendonitis and heel, hip and back pains.
In both cases, a bad foot pattern results in a bad repartition of the body mass and a distortion of your silhouette. This unstable posture causes chronic pains but will also result in a joint and muscular weakness on the long term. The problem is that, as stated in the beginning of this article, we’ve been walking a certain way our whole life, and our body is now used to it.
So what are the solutions?
To ease the pain, you can try to improve your support using special inserts, based on your doctor’s recommendations. Or, you can chose the solution that takes a bit more time but will last longer: correct your pattern. It’s a long process that requires you taking it slow not to hurt yourself. You’ll have to know your “flaws” to improve them step by step (no pun intended). Changing one’s habit is hard and tricky, especially when you’ve had this habit for… pretty much your entire life. But it is worth it: a slight improvement is better than nothing.
So here’s the billion dollar question: how can I now if my way of walking is dangerous for me? How do I know how to correct it? –Product Placement alert—but it is the reason why we created it: you can use the Run Profiler.
Our insole has been developed to analyze your stride and pattern in 3D and in real time during your run. It will tell you if you’re pronator/supinator and to what extend it could hurt you. Personalized guideline will allow you to avoid fatigue and injury risks and you can even use the audio-coach to get live feedbacks! You can follow you evolution on the app thanks to the data history. All of that and more, for only $99 and it is available –here-. The other solution would be to regularly consult your podologist to see what efforts can be made and to keep an eye on your well-being. (But you would get that too with the Run Profiler, all in one pair of insole that fits most your shoes; just saying).
That’s it for today and for this walking saga.
I hope all these info will be useful for you to understand how you can improve your health and well-being!
Feel free to leave a comment bellow if you want to share your experience of have a subject request from me – that’s what I’m here for! 😉
See you soon, you running maniacs!