Understanding the intricacies of pronation is essential for runners, as it significantly influences shock absorption and the efficiency of push-off during each stride. Pronation, which is simply the natural side-to-side movement of the foot, comes in three main types. Normal or neutral pronation, where the foot rolls naturally inward by approximately15 percent, ensures proper shock absorption and alignment of ankles and legs. Underpronation, or supination, occurs when the foot rolls outward. This is more common among people with higher arches and can lead to injuries like Achilles tendonitis and shin splints. Overpronation involves excessive inward or downward rolling of the foot and is often associated with flat feet. Determining your pronation type is helpful for selecting appropriate footwear, but more importantly, this knowledge can minimize the risk of injuries. A podiatrist can analyze your gait and determine which type of pronation you have, factors that can result in an injury-free and a more enjoyable running experience. For a full assessment, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
Biomechanics in Podiatry
Podiatric biomechanics is a particular sector of specialty podiatry with licensed practitioners who are trained to diagnose and treat conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. Biomechanics deals with the forces that act against the body, causing an interference with the biological structures. It focuses on the movement of the ankle, the foot and the forces that interact with them.
A History of Biomechanics
- Biomechanics dates back to the BC era in Egypt where evidence of professional foot care has been recorded.
- In 1974, biomechanics gained a higher profile from the studies of Merton Root, who claimed that by changing or controlling the forces between the ankle and the foot, corrections or conditions could be implemented to gain strength and coordination in the area.
Modern technological improvements are based on past theories and therapeutic processes that provide a better understanding of podiatric concepts for biomechanics. Computers can provide accurate information about the forces and patterns of the feet and lower legs.
Understanding biomechanics of the feet can help improve and eliminate pain, stopping further stress to the foot.