Whats the deal with ‘overpronation’?

I so bored writing about this, but the message is still not getting through.


I always use the word ‘overpronation’ in inverted commas to signify acknowledgement of all the issues with the word. I first wrote about “overpronation” at length on my running blog. I still get annoyed at all the nonsense the goes on around that term and it use, especially by the Dunning-Krugar afflicted clowns. I also wrote about the issues on my skeptics site: “Pronation mythology”. Yet pseudo-experts with no comprehension of risk factors etc and running injury keep making up nonsense.

The bottom line is this, no matter what people choose to claim, “overpronation” (ignoring all the issues around what the term actually means) is a risk factor for injuries in runners. The two most recent systematic reviews/meta analyses have shown that. They have also shown that the risk is small, but is still statistically significant. The current evidence is clear as to that is what it is.

By way of example of the nonsense, many refer to the above video of Haille Gebrselassie running (and he a good runner!) despite having the massive amounts of “overpronation”, he has no problems. That is held up as evidence that there is nothing wrong with “overpronation”. That is an anecdote. That is not evidence. You will not get very far bringing an anecdote to a fight about evidence.

Consider it this way: the evidence is clear, smoking increases the risk for lung cancer. Not everyone who smokes get lung cancer. Just because someone who smokes does not get lung cancer is not evidence that smoking does not cause lung cancer! Smoking still increases the risk of lung cancer.

So in other words: the evidence is clear, “overpronation” increases the risk for a running injury. Not everyone who has “overpronation” gets a a running injury. Just because someone who has “overpronation” does not get a running injury is not evidence that “overpronation” does not cause running injury! “Overpronation” still increases the risk of a running injury.

Illogical and nonsensical.

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