Most people are unaware that foot problems can influence their entire body from the legs, to the back, to the neck, and even the shoulders.
You’ve heard the song, “The leg bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…,” and it’s very true. The entire human body is connected like a chain, with one link (bone) connecting at the joint to another link. Consider what would happen if the first link in the chain was out of position, the point in which it connects to the next link will become overstressed- adversely affecting the entire chain. In other words, one condition can cause problems in a seemingly unrelated part of the body.
Believe it or not, if you have been experiencing lower back pain and you don’t recall having done anything to injure it, the actual source of the pain could be your feet! Think about your feet for a minute. Have they been bothering you at all? For how long? It may be hard to remember because foot pain is often something people ignore. If foot pain is something that has been with you for a while, it could be the underlying cause of your back pain.
When someone experiences foot pain, it isn’t uncommon for the normal way of walking to be painful. As a result, we will instinctively change our walking pattern. This change in walking gait, if prolonged, can affect the whole lower body chain, from the ankle, to the knee, to the hip, to the lower back. When foot pain, or a foot deformity, change the way you walk it changes how all the bones of all these other joints move with each other. This could cause cartilage in the joints to wear down, and ligaments and tendons can be stressed beyond their normal range. When this happens over an extended period, it is possible for arthritis to set in.
Often, orthotics can be used to help with lower back pain caused by poor biomechanics of the feet. Orthotics correct faulty and/or excessive motions of the feet, which will normalize the posture and alignment of the lower body- alleviating unnecessary stress to areas of your lower back. The use of orthotics is a simple yet acute therapy, that is performed by simply standing and walking properly. If necessary, it is easily combined with other treatments and therapies. However, depending on the condition that is causing your foot pain, orthotics may not be the answer. We won’t know the proper course of treatment until we have evaluated your individual concerns.
If you are experiencing pain in your feet and/or ankles, please do not ignore it. Contact one our friendly foot doctors at Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle for an evaluation. They will help you find a solution for your problem. Your back will thank you!
Our foot and ankle care doctors and surgeons are board-certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and are members of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. Call (208) 855-5955 or request an appointment online.