Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Five Tips for Correcting Supination

Have you ever thought about what your feet do when you walk or run? If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t, at least not until something starts hurting.

A lot of people are walking and running in a way that sets them up for a slew of lower body injuries. One common walking/running mistake people make on a regular basis is called supination.

Read on to learn more about supination and what you can do to correct it.

What is Supination?

When you walk, the ankle and back of your foot is supposed to roll in (pronate) slightly to cushion impact and help you adapt when walking on uneven surfaces. If your heel doesn’t roll in as far as it should or rolls out altogether, this is known as supination.

Supination is common among people who have tight Achilles tendons and/or high arches.

Why is Supination a Problem?

When you supinate, you put extra stress on your feet and legs since the shock isn’t being properly absorbed.

Some common injuries caused by supination while walking or running include:
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Ankle sprains
  • Hammertoes
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
Correcting Supination

As you can see, when left untreated, supination can cause a lot of problems, especially for runners and other active individuals. Luckily there are lots of things you can do to correct the problem. Some of the best methods of correcting supination include:

1. Change Your Shoes
For people who supinate as they walk or run, the best shoes are lightweight and flexible sneakers that support the ankle without wearing down in response to frequent motion in the ankle joint. High-top sneakers are also beneficial for people who have weak, wobbly ankles.

2. Wear Orthotic Inserts
In addition to replacing your running or walking shoes, you can also invest in orthotic inserts that support the arch. Some inserts also lift the heel to help minimize the rolling motion of the feet.

Inserts also minimize pressure placed on the pinky toes and keep the ankle stable. This, in turn, protects the knees and lower back when you run or walk.

3. Correct Your Running/Walking Form
New shoes and inserts help minimize discomfort and provide extra support for the ankles and feet. But they don’t actually address the root problem. If you really want to kick supination to the curb, your running and walking form needs to change.

Keep these tips in mind when walking or running to start altering your gait for good:
  • Land softly when you run or walk quickly
  • Land with the midfoot instead of the back of the heel
  • Shorten your stride and increase the cadence of your runs to make a softer landing easier
  • Maintain good posture -- keep your chest lifted and spine aligned
4. Stretch Regularly
It’s also important to stretch the lower body regularly, especially when you’re working on correcting your running or walking form.

Switching up the way you move will likely cause some increased muscle soreness, and it’s harder to change your way of walking or running when you have tight muscles that prevent you from moving through a full range of motion.

Some good stretches to incorporate into your routine include:
  • Calf stretches
  • Hamstring stretches
  • Quad stretches
  • Iliotibial band (outside of the thigh) stretches
You should also foam roll the lower body to further loosen up the muscles and promote faster healing.

5. Incorporate Resistance Training

Finally, make sure you’re also working on strengthening the muscles in the lower body. This will help you establish new and better muscle recruitment patterns and will further protect you from injury as you work on correcting your supination.

Good exercises to include in a resistance training routine include:
  • Squats (using your bodyweight or holding a weight overhead to improve your posture)
  • Lunges (walking lunges, reverse lunges, and side lunges are all good)
  • Banded side steps (these strengthen glutes and outer thighs)
  • Calf raises

Supination can cause a lot of problems, whether you’re an athlete or an average Joe. If you have a tendency to supinate while walking or running, keep these tips in mind as you start correcting the issue, and you’ll see improvements in no time!

This is a guest blog entry.

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