Foot Dysfunction: Over Pronation & Supination Causes Chronic Back Pain Skip to main content

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Foot Dysfunction: Over Pronation & Supination Causes Chronic Back Pain


The human body is an intricate machine, and everything is connected so when something goes wrong in one area, it can cause problems in other areas. The back carries a lot of the stress in the body so when there is a problem with the hips, knees, or a foot dysfunction, the spine can bear at least some of the brunt of the pain and other effects.

Particularly true with foot dysfunction is when the mechanics of the foot are off, which can throw off the alignment of the entire body. Overpronation and oversupination in the foot can lead to severe and chronic back pain.

What is Pronation and Overpronation?

Pronation describes the way that the foot rolls inward during its normal motion. The foot turns inward, flattening out, as the heel’s outer edge strikes the ground.

For the foot to function correctly, there must be a significant degree of pronation. However, excessive pronation, or overpronation, can cause injury and damage to the foot and ankle. It creates the arch in the foot to flatten, and the ligaments, tendons, and muscles under the foot overstretch.

What is Supination and Oversupination

Supination describes the way the foot rolls outward during its normal motion. It occurs during the push off part of the gait, mainly when running when the heel lifts. The heel leaves the ground, and the action carries through as weight transfers to the forefront and toes. It moves the body in a forward direction.

When there is excessive supination or oversupination, it strains the tendons and muscles that provide stabilization for the ankle. Causing the ankle to roll, causing injury to the ankle including overpronation sprain, a torn tendon, or ligament rupture.

Conditions and Injuries Caused by Overpronation and Oversupination



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Overpronation and oversupination can cause a variety of injuries and conditions that affect not only the feet and ankles, but also the knees, hips, and back as well. Some of the more common injuries and conditions include:
  • Flat feet or posterior tibial tendon dysfunction
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Arch pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Corns
  • Shin splints
  • Heel pain
  • Tight calves
  • Calluses
  • Knee pain
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Hip pain
  • Tight hip flexors
  • Back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disks

How Foot Problems can Cause Back Pain

Foot Dysfunction can very easily cause a domino effect that extends all the way to the back. The feet are the foundation of the body and when there is a problem with the way they function it can cause the entire body to shift out of alignment.

For instance, overpronation of the foot causes a series of internal changes that extend up through the leg. The femur may rotate causing hip pain and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint which leads to back pain. Other misalignments in the body that are caused by foot problems can also lead to chronic lower back pain as well.

Chiropractic to Treat Foot Problems

Chiropractic seeks to find the cause of the conditions it is used to treat, including pain, instead of just treating symptoms. Because of this, the chiropractor will work to find the cause of the pain, in this case, overpronation and overpronation, and correct it – or the effects of the condition – in addition to treating the back pain.

Typically, overpronation and oversupination, are caused by muscle imbalances in the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Improper shoes, misalignment in the body, and other issues can cause these muscle imbalances. The chiropractor will work with the patient to find the cause of the foot problem so that can be corrected, then work to the damage or injury done.

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