Your feet are the foundation of your entire body—complex structures consisting of 26 bones, 33 joints and 126 muscles and ligaments (and that's only for one foot). They support your weight, act as a shock absorber, serve as a lever to propel the leg forward and help maintain balance.
Since your entire body is interrelated, any mechanical issues with the feet can lead to chronic musculoskeletal problems in other parts of the body, including your back. I will often hear patients complain about low back discomfort in addition to their foot pain.
One common foot disorder that can affect the back is excessive pronation. Also known as flat feet, this condition causes the foot’s arch to flatten and collapse under the body’s weight. While a normal arch tends to promote stability and alignment of the entire body, the ability to cushion and absorb forces is often reduced when the arch is collapsed. As a result, increased stress may be placed on the joints of the body following the kinetic chain from the feet to the ankles, knees, hip, lower back and upper back. This continued stress can cause deformities of the foot over time, such as misaligned bones, hammertoes and bunions, eventually making its way to the legs, knees and lower back.
If you suffer from chronic back pain consider setting up an appointment to NY Sports Podiatry for a computrized tri-camera angle gait analysis. Your feet may be the source of your pain. If your back pain is caused by poor biomechanics of the feet, orthotics may be an effective treatment option. These custom devices are designed to support and restore the arch of your foot. Restoring the normal alignment of the foot helps normalize the posture and alignment of the lower body. This can reduce unnecessary stress to areas of your back.
The shoes you are wearing may also be contributing to your back pain. Good, proper fitting footwear for your individual foot type will provide your feet with the support they need to stabilize your body’s weight and relieve the stress on the rest of your body.
If you suffer from back pain, visit NY Sports Podiatry in Port Washington for an evaluation. Your feet may be causing your pain. With proper treatment, you can achieve proper foot biomechanics and eliminate your back pain once and for all.
Always with the athlete in mind,
Dr. Arthur J. Kaplan
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