Are Your Feet Causing You Back Pain?

It is estimated that around 4 in every 5 people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. Yet many people don’t realise that some lower back pain can be caused by abnormal foot function or poor leg alignment.

In this article, we will look at how foot alignment can affect your lower back and how to diagnose and treat potential problems.

How your feet can affect your back
There are many factors that can cause lower back pain. At the Brunswick and Sandringham Foot Clinics, our podiatrists strive to enhance the work of other health care practitioners by helping to identify and to address those gait related issues that may be aggravating your back pain.

Incorrect gait and posture
Our feet, ankles, and knees work as the body’s shock absorbers. With each step we take, their biomechanics absorb the stress of our feet striking the ground. Even minor abnormalities in posture and gait can derail the lower body’s biomechanics, causing more jarring vibrations to pass through the back.

Over-pronation
Over-pronation is when the arches of the foot flatten and the ankles roll excessively when standing or walking. When the arch of the foot collapses the shin and knee twist inward placing strain on the hip and pelvis, which can lead to lower back pain.

Leg length
Having one leg shorter than the other can also play a major role in lower back pain. Leg length discrepancies can cause gait problems that affect hip joints and their surrounding muscles. This in turn affects the connecting muscles and posture of the lower back, causing strain and discomfort.

Diagnosing the problem
Podiatrists are able to diagnose problems that can be a cause of lower back pain by assessing the biomechanics of your lower body’s movement. At our Brunswick and Sandringham Foot Clinics, our podiatrists use video gait analysis to observe the way you stand, walk, and run.

Video gait analysis allows us to break down each second of your gait cycle. This allows detailed assessment of your foot position, pronation, and posture as you move. Anomalies can be identified, and an appropriate treatment plan put in place.

Treatment options
There are a number of different treatment options depending on your specific symptoms. For example, some people may experience relief from lower back pain with something as simple as the use of custom orthotics. By correcting and supporting the foot’s arch and alignment, orthotics can restore natural foot function, correct gait problems, and improve core stability. A smoother gait combined with improved posture can result in some reduction in back pain.

What to do next
If you are experiencing back pain, seek a professional assessment from a podiatrist. Melbourne Podiatrist consults at two foot clinics conveniently located in Brunswick and Sandringham.

To book an appointment, click here.