I got a question from our avid blog reader and he asked:
“Can my feet be leading to my back pain?”
And the quick answer is YES.
Can My Feet Be Causing My Back Pain?
CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
However, I wanted to look into the research and see what the research had to say. I came across an article from Rumitology that was published last September 17, 2013 which noted that pronation can lead to back pain in women and orthotics maybe needed.
Within the foot there is an arch, if the arch is too high, it is supination and if there is no arch it is pronation, or flat feet. So having flat feet or excessive pronation in the foot can lead to your low back pain and what can end up helping is orthotics.
It specifically looked at women but I feel that it also applies to men. They recommend orthotics, but orthotics is a pretty aggressive intervention and there are other things that you can do before jumping into getting very expensive orthotics.
Some of the things that you can do are based on the second article that I came across from Human Factors that was published last August 2013. According to the article, using anti-fatigue mats will decrease discomfort. Thus, it can decrease discomfort in the low back. If you work in an environment where you are required to stand most of the time, utilizing anti-fatigue mats can decrease the discomfort that you have in your back.
There is another article that looks at specifically orthotics that was published last March 2013. The article noted, “Yes, utilizing orthotics definitely decreases low back pain.”
Now before you jump in and get into orthotics, let me highlight the next article. There are actually two articles that reinforce the fact that orthotics can help decrease low back pain. But before you jump into orthotics, you can push insoles if you work in an environment with hard floors. This will help decrease your back pain but not your lower body pain.
An intermediate step that you can do is adding soft insoles to your work boots, especially if you work in a hard environment. This will decrease your back pain. It might not decrease your lower body pain, if you have that. Key thing to remember is changing those insoles frequently.
The one last thing to remember when we start talking about feet and back pain is: there is also a link when it relates to obesity and being overweight increasing the risk of low back pain.
Being overweight or being obese increases your risk of low back pain. It could be a cause of low back pain.
Summarizing all that points that I mentioned:
- Your feet could be the cause of your low back pain.
- Before you jump in and get orthotics to fix the problem, take a step back and try the anti-fatigue mats if you are in a work environment where you are required to stand most of the time.
- Go with the soft insole in your shoe.
- Being overweight or being obese can cause low back pain.
- And if all else fails when it comes to the anti-fatigue mats and the insoles in your shoe, then give orthotics a go.
So, there you go!
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Rick Kaselj, MS