Back Pain and Your Feet: How are they related?

Posted by Jesse Flores on

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Have you ever had to miss work due to back pain? How about a fun event like a night out or your kid's soccer game? Back pain is an extremely common problem and is a headache...er, backache, not just to sufferers, but also the families who miss them when they're down and the businesses who lose revenue when they can't work.

The pain of a backache can take many forms and fixing it is not as simple as taking it easy because back pain often starts somewhere else, your feet. 

Let's take a look at some symptoms and causes of back pain and where the feet come into play. 

Back Pain Symptoms

Back pain can take many forms. Symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain that radiates into the buttocks or down the leg
  • General aching 
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Pain from prolonged sitting or standing
  • Pain when moving from sitting to standing

Back Pain Causes

There are a variety of issues or syndromes that can cause back pain.

Piriformis

The Piriformis is a small muscle located deep in the buttock (behind the gluteus Maximus). The piriformis helps the hip rotate and assists in turning the leg and foot outward. 

Pain in the piriformis can be caused by a number of things:

  • A muscle spasm due to irritation in the muscle itself or nearby
  • Tightening of the muscle
  • Swellings of the muscle

Any of these things can be caused by an injury. 

Piriformis and The Foot

Pain in the piriformis can start in the shoot. If your feet are not supported or turn out they can cause a rotation in the pelvis leading to a spasm in the piriformis. You could have hyper-supination, when the feet roll outward or hyper-pronation where they roll inward. Either one can lead to lower back or hip problems

Arthritis

We also think of arthritis as impacting our hands or knees, but arthritis is another potential cause of back pain. This degenerative condition involving cartilage damage causes abnormality in the joints and can lead to pain. 

Arthritis can occur anywhere along the spine and is common in the neck and lower back. 

Your back pain could be caused by arthritis if it lasts longer than seven days. 

Disc Problems

Disc problems are another frequent underlying reason for back pain.

Discs can often become:

  • Compressed
  • Herniated
  • Ruptured
  • Degenerated

These issues may be caused by poor sitting or standing posture.

Disc problems can also be caused by mechanical changes in the back due to poor support of the foot.

Back Pain Treatments: The 3 S's

If your back pain is minor and not caused by a larger overlying issue, you can treat it yourself using the 3 S's. 

Stretching: Stretch daily, focusing not just on your back but the abs and hips. 

Strengthening: Do exercises that strengthen your back and core. 

Supporting: Support starts at the base. Using the right insole to support your feet and prevent pronation can go a long way in treating back pain. 

Keep your feet support, make sure to stretch and keep moving and you can help your feet help your back!

 

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience persistent pain, consult your healthcare provider.


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