What Is Supination and How Can Orthotics Help?

Posted on: 23 July 2021

If you suffer from foot supination (also known as underpronation), you could benefit from an orthotic. Few people have perfect feet, but if you have foot, knee, and hip pain when you walk, you need correction. Supination is not as common as overpronation. You may need to see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. Here is more information about supination, its difference from overpronation, and ways orthotics may help.

What Is Supination?

Foot supination is when your foot rolls outward as you walk. The normal foot alignment is an even foot roll from back to front, with the big toe acting as the final pressure point. When you have supination, you put excess pressure on the outside bones and small toe. Walking with a supinated foot can lead to ankle instability. Many people with supination twist or roll their ankles often.

How Is Supination Different Than Overpronation?

Overpronation is a common problem and is the opposite of supination. With overpronation, your foot rolls inward. This movement puts excessive strain on the arch and big toe as well as your other leg joints. Some people with overpronation in both feet have knock knees, also known as X-type legs. People who have supination are often bow-legged, or have O-type legs.

What Causes Supination?

Supination, and pronation problems in general, can be inherited. However, athletes may be prone to overuse-related supination issues. Natural wear and tear on your joints, as well as arthritis, can affect how you walk and lead to supination. Carrying a lot of weight, such as during pregnancy, can also affect your feet and contribute to pronation issues.

How Can a Podiatrist Help With Supination?

The podiatrist analyses your gait and examines your feet to see how they pronate. If your case is mild, the doctor will likely suggest footwear and orthotics to keep your feet aligned. Orthotics for supination work to support the heel and arch so your foot rolls in a neutral position. You may also benefit from exercises and stretching techniques to help with tendon strength and flexibility. Fortunately, surgery is rarely needed and is reserved for extreme cases.

Foot problems can eventually lead to other joint issues. If your feet are not aligned, you may experience pain and premature knee, ankle, and hip joint wear. A podiatrist can help diagnose and treat your foot-related pain. He or she may also recommend custom orthotics to enable you to walk properly. Contact a podiatrist to get started before your pain affects your life.