Can Orthotics Help my Back Pain?
Orthotics for back pain? You bet! Following up on last week’s blog on radiculopathy, I wanted to share some valuable information about using orthotics to help reduce back pain. This must be a timely subject because this subject was just covered in this month’s Men’s Health (“9 Investments with Healthy Returns,” tip number 7).
Without getting in to too many details, back or spinal pain can be caused my many conditions and involve abnormalities to muscle, bone, joint, ligament, or discs. As the feet are the foundations of the body and connect us to the ground, any excessive stress or strain can be translated up the chain of joints in the leg (ankle, knee, and hip) to the spine; this can result in acute pain or exacerbate chronic conditions.
There have been several studies recently linking flat feet or pronation syndrome to back pain. Excessive pronation causes arch collapse, this in turn causes rotation of the leg bones, which in turn causes tilt to the pelvis and strain on the lower back. Conversely, a high arched foot is a poor shock absorber and this can result in excessive ground force being translated up the joint chain to the spine. Another malady that can cause back pain is one leg that is shorter than the other-this causes opposite compensation in the legs, pelvic tilt, and strain to the spine.
Custom foot orthotics can be beneficial in the instances detailed above. Just as an alignment to your tires improves the overall function of the vehicle, correction and normalization of foot structure and motion can decrease stress and strain to the spine. If you have back pain and have yet to try custom orthotics, please give us a call today.