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Foot Pain vs Back Pain: Can my feet be causing my back pain?

22nd February 2016

Foot Pain vs Back Pain: Can my feet be causing my back pain?

Foot Pain vs Back Pain - Chicken or The Egg?

Remember the children’s rhyme ‘your ankle bone is connected to your shin bone, your shin bone is connected to your thigh bone’… and so and so on up the chain.

Your body is linked like a kinetic chain, with your feet being the FOUNDATION for the rest of your body. If your feet are ‘out-of-whack’, then this can throw the next link (ankle) in the chain out, which throws the next link (knee) out, and so on right up to the lower back.

2 Common Foot Postures That Can Contribute To Low Back Pain

Over-pronated low arch foot-type (also commonly called ‘flat feet’, collapsed arches, pes pancakus). When your arches collapse inwards, this causes your legs to rotate inwards, your pelvis to tilt forwards and increases the curve and stress in your lower back – often resulting in low back pain and fatigue. This may be noticed more after a busy day spent on your feet or after exercise.

Over-supinated high arch foot-type. Generally a high arch foot-type is rigid and poor at shock absorbing. This means if the shock absorption or cushioning is not occurring at the level of the foot – it will get transferred all the way up to the lower back which may result in low back pain. This may be noticed more after a busy day, after weight-bearing exercise especially running, and increased time spent on unforgiving man-made surfaces (which lets face it is most of the time these days).

Another cause of low back pain is FOOT PAIN. If you have foot pain, you may hobble, walk on your tip-toes or the outside of your foot, or even like John Wayne after a night on whisky. These compensated walking patterns can then cause pain and tightness in other areas of our bodies, commonly calf muscles, knees, hips and lower back. Once the foot pain is addressed, these other pains throughout the body often resolve quickly as the body is no longer protecting and compensating with every step.

As you can now appreciate, your feet don’t only cause foot pain  – but can cause havoc all the way up to the lower back! It is now important to acknowledge the chicken or the egg – foot and leg pain can also be caused by referred pain from the back. At Foundation Podiatry Townsville we work alongside other allied health professionals to treat the cause of your knee, hip and back pain.

Remember….. ‘You’re feet are the FOUNDATION for your posture’.