We often treat each part of our body like a separate entity instead of as part of a complex and interconnected machine. If our hip hurts, we assume it’s because of a problem with our hip or pelvis.
However, issues in one joint in our skeleton will affect all other joints. One of the most critical connections in the body is that between the feet and the hip. An overpronated foot can affect the alignment and motion of your hips, leading to pain, discomfort, and various physical conditions.
This article will examine the relationship between foot pronation and hip pain and how orthotics can help restore the balance between the two.
What is Foot Pronation?
Pronation refers to the inward rolling motion of the foot during the walking cycle. Pronation, in general, is an integral part of walking, as it distributes the minor shock of your foot impacting the ground.
Generally, the arch of the foot is maintained during pronation, as the ankles tilt slightly inwards. However, this delicate balance is upset in some people, causing what is known as “overpronation.”
What is Overpronation?
Overpronation refers to when the regular cycle of pronation becomes overly pronounced.
In this case, the arch tends to collapse, and the ankle rotates inwards much more than it should in normal pronation. An overpronated gait causes much more stress on the feet and ankles, both through the extra pressure and having less shock absorption.
What Causes Overpronation
The reasons for overpronation vary, but we can still categorize reasons into biological and mechanical origins.
Biological reasons can include simple genetics - the tendency to overpronate while walking is simply inherited. For example, individuals with naturally flat feet tend to fall into the overpronated gait.
However, even those not naturally prone to overpronation can cause it in themselves in a few ways. Damage to the foot through injury or overuse can damage the arch and muscles in the ankles, leading to overpronation. In many cases, wearing unsupportive footwear without good arch support will also result in overpronation.
The Dangers of Overpronation
Overpronation can cause a lot of issues in the body. Often it will cause ligaments in the ankle and foot to wear out, resulting in severe conditions such as plantar fasciitis, which can make it difficult even to walk.
The extra weight put on the knees can also cause severe knee conditions, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome. Overpronation can extend this stress up to the hip joints.
Overpronation and Hip Pain
When the foot pronates, the leg rotates inward and loses its alignment with the hips: this means that the weight of your upper body is no longer evenly born by your hips, creating what is known as “improper load transfer.”
The above puts excess stress on the joints, muscles, and ligaments in your hips, generating hip pain. The extra rolling motion of overpronation can also travel up the leg, twisting the muscles and ligaments where your leg meets your hip and causing severe discomfort.
For those looking to reduce hip pain, it may be worth it to find the origin first - including looking into the relationship between pronation and hip pain.
How To Resolve Hip Pain From Overpronation
For those looking to reduce hip pain from overpronation, it is best to target the issue at its source and address overpronation causes.
First and foremost, it is vital to make sure that you have footwear with proper arch support. However, this may not be enough for many, and it is worth it to look into orthotics for knee and hip pain.
Many of these orthotics for hip pain, by design, will give better arch support and stop the rolling motion associated with pronation.
Orthotics can also help reduce the impact shock from walking and running, helping give your hip joints the relief they need to begin the healing process after the damage done through joint stress, improper weight-bearing, and stressful gaits.
Find Great Orthotics For Hip Pain
Whether you need to shop orthotics to reduce hip pain or get advice on custom-made orthotics, we have the products you need.
From high-quality running shoes with slip-resistant or rubber soles, as an example, we carry a great selection of brand names to keep you shopping! Check out our store for more great orthotic solutions across a variety of great brands.