Ahh, back pain. It is a condition that about 80% of adults experience in their lives – some more often than others, and some of those more painful than the rest. Back pain can result from a variety of reasons, such as:
- Strain due to lifting excessive weight
- Lifting heavy things wrongly
- Spinal misalignment due to poor posture or sleeping conditions
- Worn out shock absorbers (the discs) in our spine due to age or overuse
But one potential source of back pain that few people think of could be our feet!
This blog will detail how this might be the case, as well as some ways you can look into to potentially alleviate back pain from the ground up.
How Our Feet Connect To Our Backs
It may feel a little unusual for us to think that back pain can be caused by something seemingly far away from the back, our feet separated as they are by our legs.
In reality though, our bodies are one big chain with many interconnected links, moved by fibers, which are in turn stimulated by circuitry. The links are our bones, the fibers our muscles, and the circuitry is our nervous system.
Being on the ground, the feet are like the foundation every other part of our body stands on, so it seems logical that when the foundation is shaky, other, higher parts of our body can get affected.
Common Foot-Related Back Pains
According to HealthDirect Australia (https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/back-pain), only 1 in 10 people suffer from back pain directly caused by specific reasons. The other 9 people have back pain caused by other reasons or other parts of the body.
As part of this blog, we will focus on the foot-related ones below!
Flat / Overarched foot
The natural arches in our feet act as shock absorbers when we walk. People with flat feet have little to no arch, which means your back receives the full shock of hitting the ground every step. That translates to extra stress on the back, which can lead to pain.
Runners will be familiar with this concept, but for yourself you can understand this by looking at your own pair of well-worn shoes. Which part of the shoe is more worn out?
Pronation describes the horizontal angle of where our feet point: are they over- (turned inward) or underpronated (turned outward)?
Pronation problems can certainly lead to back pain as we put strain and pressure on the spine due to a misaligned stride.
How we stand affects our posture, and our stance can change quite a bit depending on the shoes one wears. High heels are a great example of the opposite of flat foot, where the very high arch also leads to poor shock absorption.
Any injuries that affect the foot can lead to awkward posture or gait, which in turn will affect the rest of the body above it. Our bodies are made to walk a certain way naturally, and injuries in our feet can change this as we try to tip toe around using that injured part of the foot to avoid the acute pain caused by the injury.
Other bodily irregularities
Most people may not notice it, but sometimes an irregularity in the feet can cause long term damage.
Something like a large gout bunion in the big toe can change how we walk, which in turn misaligns the spine over time. Or perhaps the legs have slightly different lengths; even a couple of centimeters can have long term impact on spinal health!
Methods of Reducing Back Pain Via The Feet
While there are plenty of back pain remedies around, here are a few things you could try to potentially alleviate back pain caused by feet:
One of the most common ways to fight back pain is by using medication, particularly ibuprofen or naproxen. The anti-inflammatory effect may help by reducing swelling, but overall, it is not a good idea to rely on them as they have side effects from long term use.
Sometimes the back pain experienced may simply be from a muscle or ligament forming a tight knot in our body. Or it could be a pinched nerve that is being squeezed by that knot. Performing stretches or even engaging in light yoga may loosen these knots, thereby providing relief.
- Getting shoes with proper support
This applies not only to getting “good shoes”, but also shoes that are appropriate for flat or overarched feet. While many may think “shoes are shoes”, good shoes are meant to cushion your feet in a manner that supports great shock absorption. This is especially true for people who are on their feet all day or who often walk on hard surfaces (which is most of us these days!)
The right shoes may also involve custom insoles or even custom designed platforms that fit perfectly with your needs.
How A Chiropractor May Help With Foot Related Back Pain
Does all this information sound too complicated? There are so many factors to measure and consider when it comes to foot related back pain. The easiest and most effective method to diagnose and potentially treat your back pain would be to see a professional.
And no professional is as suited to the problem as a licensed chiropractor!
Chiropractors are doctors who specialize in our musculoskeletal system – particularly that of our spines. By using a series of holistic analysis, tests, and specialized scans, chiros can identify the true source of aches and pains in our joints and muscles. Treatment options are often medication free and may offer long term alleviations of your back pain.
Where To Find Trusted Chiropractors
The Michael & David Black Chiropractic Group are some of the more experienced chiropractors in the vicinity of Doncaster and Armadale. Not only are they licensed by the Chiropractic Board of Australia, but Drs. Michael and David Black head the group’s operations and offer a combined 37 years of experience in the chiropractic field.
They continue to keep up with advances in the science of chiropractic, so you can be assured of top-class diagnosis and treatment of back pain. Make an appointment now by calling (03) 9509 7691 or find out more by visiting https://www.blackchiropractic.com.au/.