In simple terms, pronation is the flattening out of the arch when a person’s foot first strikes the ground. This motion acts as a significant shock absorber for the body. An average person’s foot will pronate from when the heel hits the ground until before the heel lift.
Supination is the opposite motion of pronation. It allows the foot to be a more stable, rigid structure for when we push off. An average person’s foot will supinate before heel lift until the foot strikes the ground again.
The truth is that we all pronate and supinate. Problems arise when there is too much motion for an improper duration of time.
Orthotics control the foot’s range and speed of motion. The muscles that counteract the range of motion work overtime when a person overpronates or over supinates. This excess muscle contraction increases tissue stress leading to inefficiency and fatigue. A foot with the proper biomechanics is much more efficient, requires less energy, and works pain-free.
Some of the consequences of improper foot mechanics include: