Pronation Explains Some Back Pain In Women, Study Finds

A recent news story may explain why some women have back pain: Pronation when walking is strongly associated with lower back pain in women.

If you’re a woman and you have constant or occasional pain in your lower back, you need to read this post. It may explain why you hurt and what you can do about it.

Pronation is the turning of the foot while walking so that the inner edge of the soles bear the pressure of walking. This what some people mean by “running over” the inside edges of their shoes. Pronation to a slight degree is completely normal, but excessive pronation can be corrected or partially corrected with proper shoe insoles.

What The Study Found

A study involving 2,000 showed a strong association between pronation and back pain in women only. Writing in the medical journal Rheumatology, the international author team said that the mechanics of the way the bones, joints and other associated structures in the lower extremities work together while walking are apparently the reason for the pain.

Put technically, the study authors explained that the foot pronates in the early phase of the gait cycle while the calcaneus everts — that is, while the heel bone turns outward. At the same time, the talus adducts — that is, the ankle joint turns inward and the plantar flexes.

It all sounds painful, doesn’t it?

This causes the internal rotation of the tibia leg bone, causing the femur in top of the leg to rotate too. And that connects to the pelvis. The study authors hypothesize that stress on the lower back and pelvis from all this rotating causes pain in women with excessive foot pronation.

And the problem seems to demonstrate itself clearly only in women for unknown reasons. It could, however, be because there are known gender differences in the alignment and function of the lower limbs and spinal joints, partly because female hips are designed for childbirth.

The researchers go on to note that orthotics and other devices that alter excessive pronation may play an important role in the treatment of lower back pain.

Not News To Us

While these details are interesting to us at, none of this is exactly news for us. We’ve been hearing from women and men alike for years that the right shoe insoles improve their foot and heel pain, ankle and knee pain — and yes, even their back pain.

We’ve also always been aware that women’s hips and legs are different than men’s, and that’s why many of the shoe insole brands we offer have special insert types made just for the unique needs of women and women’s unique shoe styles.

So what are you waiting for? If your back hurts, take a look at our selection of shoe insoles. Soon, your back pain could be a thing of the past. And wouldn’t that be a great gift in your life

You don’t have to understand the science behind it if it works for you.