Back pain linked with your feet
The feet can significantly impact back pain due to how the bones, muscles, and ligaments in the feet can affect the alignment of the lower extremities and the spine. If there is a problem with the way the feet function, such as an imbalance or overpronation, it can create a chain reaction that causes the knees, hips, and pelvis to rotate and tilt in unnatural ways, leading to lower back pain. Additionally, conditions like plantar fasciitis and metatarsalgia can cause pain in the feet that can radiate into the lower back. Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or have worn-out soles can also contribute to back pain by altering the normal alignment and mechanics of the feet and legs.
Flat feet, also known as pes planus, can cause back pain due to the altered biomechanics and misalignment it creates in the lower extremities and spine. When a person has flat feet, the arch of the foot collapses, causing the foot to come into full contact with the ground. This can lead to overpronation, where the foot rolls inward excessively when walking or running. This altered gait can cause the knee to rotate inward, which can cause the pelvis to tilt and rotate, leading to lower back pain.
In addition, flat feet can cause imbalances in the muscles and ligaments of the foot, leading to strain and overuse injuries in the feet and lower extremities. This can also put additional stress on the lower back, causing it to compensate and leading to pain.
High arches, also known as cavus foot, can also impact back pain in several ways. Like flat feet, high arches can cause imbalances and misalignments in the lower extremities and spine, leading to pain in the back. People with high arches tend to underpronate, which means that their feet don’t roll inward enough to absorb shock when walking or running. This can put extra stress on the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back, leading to pain and discomfort.
In addition, high arches can cause plantar fasciitis, a condition that results in pain and inflammation in the heel and bottom of the foot. This pain can radiate into the lower back, causing additional discomfort. High arches can also increase the risk of other foot and lower extremity problems, such as stress fractures, ankle sprains, and knee pain, which can also contribute to back pain.
Treatment for back pain associated with flat feet or high arches may involve correcting the underlying foot problem through the use of orthotics, physiotherapy, and exercises to improve foot and leg alignment and strength. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct structural problems in the foot. It’s important to consult a doctor or a physiotherapist to determine the best course of action.
Physiotherapy is a common and effective treatment for back ache that is caused by problems with the feet. A physiotherapist can help identify the root cause of back pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to address it. Here are some common physiotherapy treatments for back aches caused by foot problems:
- Stretching and strengthening exercises: A physiotherapist may prescribe specific exercises to improve the flexibility and strength of the feet, legs, hips, and back. These exercises can help correct imbalances and misalignments in the lower extremities, reducing stress on the back.
- Orthotics: Custom orthotics can help correct imbalances and improve foot function, reducing stress on the lower extremities and the back.
- Manual therapy: A physiotherapist may use manual therapy techniques, such as soft tissue mobilization and joint mobilization, to improve flexibility and relieve aches in the feet, legs, hips, and back.
- Gait analysis and retraining: A physiotherapist can evaluate your walking and running pattern and provide specific instructions to help you adopt a more efficient and pain-free gait.
- Pain management: Physiotherapists may use modalities such as heat or ice therapy, electrical stimulation, or other pain-relieving techniques to help manage aches and improve function.
- Specialized techniques: Physiotherapists also may use some specialized techniques such as dry needling/acupuncture, dry cupping, wet cupping/ hijama, Kinesio taping, and BFRT technique as per need to alleviate your back ache.
The physiotherapist can guide you through a comprehensive rehabilitation program, helping you regain normal function, reduce aches, and prevent future problems.