Treatment of Underpronation

Treatment of underpronation is generally concerned with correcting faulty biomechanics and adding extra cushioning to make up for what is naturally lacking due to the underpronation gait. Although underpronation can be identified without the need to visit a podiatrist or sports therapist, this is strongly recommended if you think that you are an underpronator. Underpronation has many causes, and the best treatment for underpronation will depend on why it is occurring. Find out that, and you can select the best treatment options. The most common methods for the treatment of underpronation are detailed below:

Underpronation Running Shoes

Underpronation running shoes are arguably the most popular choice for dealing with underpronation. Underpronators tend to have rigid and inflexible feet, and quite commonly have high arches. The most important aspect of running shoes for underpronation is to give the feet some extra cushioning, as underpronators tend to deal with the shocks from running very poorly. Care needs to be taken when selecting running shoes as most are designed for overpronators and will restrict pronation rather than promote it. For instance, motion control shoes are excellent for overpronators as these reduce the degree of pronation but this is the exact opposite of what an underpronator needs. Wearing motion control shoes is likely to increase the chance of injury rather than reduce it. Similarly, stability shoes should be avoided as these tend to be more rigid and inflexible, even though they do tend to feature extra cushioning.
The best choice of running shoes for underpronation is a pair of shoes which are lightweight, highly flexible, and offer a good level of underfoot cushioning. Unfortunately running shoes are not specifically designed for underpronators, but shoes for a neutral running gait are usually the best choice. If the shoes claim that they offer great stability or motion control you should avoid them like the plague. Remember that underpronators lack flexibility in their feet so shoes which are highly flexible are the best choice. The lighter the shoe the better is the general rule of thumb; however make sure that they also have plenty of cushioning – barefoot shoes for instance are highly flexible and lightweight, but have no cushioning whatsoever.

Read about the underpronation running shoes here

Orthotic Insoles

Orthotic insoles are another excellent choice for dealing with underpronation. Orthotic insoles are designed not only to offer arch support, but to provide good underfoot cushioning and to encourage the correct motion of the feet. There are many high quality orthotic insole brands to choose from – Sorbothane, Superfeet, Spenco, Sof Sole, Sole, Orthaheel, Aetrex, Lynco and Hanger to name but a few. Avoid cheap generic brands as they rarely are built to last and neither do they have the features that an underpronator will need. However it is important that you are certain that you are an underpronator before choosing orthotic insoles, and you should really have a gait analysis completed first to determine the degree of underpronation that occurs with your particular gait.
The best choice is to visit a podiatrist for a consultation and examination. Custom orthotic insoles will no doubt be recommended, as these will be made based on the actual dimensions of your feet and will offer custom support. They will outlast standard insoles by some margin and offer great value for money in the long run, but you can expect to pay upwards of $250 per pair. It is a small price to pay to ensure good foot health, and building always starts with getting the foundations solid. However, try to find a podiatrist who specializes in running injuries, or actually is a runner. Not all podiatrists will be familiar with the specific needs of runners and if you are to spend out that sort of cash, you need to be sure that it will be of benefit. It may be better to start with a pair of low cost green Superfeet insoles and a pair of underpronation shoes before committing to a large spend on custom insoles.

Physical Therapy & Gait Correction

Changing the running gait can be highly difficult to achieve and can actually cause more problems than it solves. While it is possible for some overpronators to change the gait to reduce overpronation – such as shortening the stride – it is difficult to change underpronation as it is usually a structural defect in the feet or legs which causes it. Aside from dealing with underpronation by wearing orthotics and underpronation shoes, it is possible to make some changes which can reduce any discomfort when walking or running. Physical therapy can be beneficial and serves to strengthen the muscles in the legs and feet, loosen tendons which are too tight or tighten tendons which are too loose. A consultation with a podiatrist or physical therapist is certainly the best course of action to take initially to determine exactly what the problem is, what can be done about it, and whether physical manipulation and exercises will be beneficial.
Underpronators can certainly benefit from stretching and strengthening exercises, in particular stretching the Achilles tendon which tends to be tighter with underpronators. The inner thighs can become painful when underpronation is concerned, especially when training heavily or after long runs, and stretching and strengthening can help. The shins can also benefit from stretching and strengthening exercises and these can help to help to keep shin splints at bay.