Are your feet making your back hurt?
“The thigh bone connected to the knee bone,
The knee bone connected to the leg bone,
The leg bone connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone connected to the heel bone..”
Remember this song? I’m sure most of you are familiar with this song, which we all sang when we were little. Who would have known that Dem Bones is the title of this jingle, something that is still of relevance in adulthood? In fact, the lyrics speak the truth. Every part of our body is interconnected, and needs to be assessed holistically and in conjunction with other body parts to get to the root of any problem.
Sometimes, the cause of back pains would be an obvious sports injury or an awkward movement. Other times, the reason would not be obvious, and not so easy to discover. Like when the culprit turns out to be your feet or just improper footwear!
Have you ever considered that pain that you experience is not caused by a localised issue?
Possible causes of back pains include:
Flat feet or high-arched feet are postural issues that can cause your body’s structure to go entirely out of balance. Your feet positioning can cause your legs and knees to change the way they distribute pressure and weight. This then affects the stress on your knees and the way you walk. Ultimately, this influences your hip joints, which in turn affects your back.
Leg length discrepancies (LLD)
LLD may cause changes to your feet posture and the way you walk. This compensation can result in abnormal stress in the pelvic and lumbar spine regions through asymmetrical loading.
Improper footwear or wearing shoes that are not suited to your feet type can put your feet, legs, and body posture out of whack. This may result in unnecessary stress and strain in varying areas further up into your upper body, including your back.
The position and severity of feet pains may cause you to limp or walk in an awkward manner. This can result in uneven distribution of pressure and stress up your legs and into your back.
These are just some of the plethora of instances where your feet can affect your back in a severe, but indirect manner. Hence, to take care of your entire body, you would also need to pay some attention to your feet. Foot issues need to be properly assessed to determine if they are a contributing factor to back pains.
Your podiatrist will be able to identify the problem, determine the root cause, and propose various treatment methods to deal with the pain. Treatment complexities vary. It might mean correcting your feet posture with orthotic and footwear prescriptions, or it may be as simple as applying a heel wedge to your existing shoes.
So, the next time you experience back pains, don’t forget to consider Dem Bones. Book in an appointment with us at the Melbourne Foot, Ankle and Walking Clinic to have a biomechanical assessment done today. A complete assessment will help you understand your feet better, and steer you towards the right treatment methods to be pain-free.
Written by Zelina Loh