Foot Posture & Lower Back Pain

For decades Podiatrists have recognised the link between foot function and back pain. Such a link makes sense, as the feet form the base of the body’s overall posture. We know that excessive pronation (flat feet) causes the hip joints to rotate inwards and the pelvis to tilt forward and down. This then leads to strain on the soft tissues supporting the spinal column such as the intervertebral discs, muscles and ligaments.

A recent research study completed in the UK, confirms a strong association between excessively pronating feet and lower back pain in the female individuals assessed. The Framingham Foot Study looked at around 3,300 people and found that Women with flat feet were 50% more likely to suffer back pain that those with normal foot function.

What does this mean for those with chronic back pain of unknown cause? In a nutshell, it may be worthwhile to consult a Podiatrist to have your lower limb biomechanics assessed. At Preston Podiatry, we have decades of experience in treating abnormal foot function and associated lower back pain.

Some other foot and leg issues may also contribute to lower back pain. Unequal leg length (LLD) causes the pelvis to tilt down on the short leg side. LLD may also contribute to an abnormal curvature of the spine (Scoliosis). In mild cases, all that may be needed to correct LLD is a heel raise fitted to an existing Orthotic device or attached to the inside of the shoe itself. In more severe cases of unequal leg length, shoe modification may be required.

Although less common than pronated feet, very high arched rigid feet also have a common association with lower back pain. This type of foot has poor shock absorption and attenuation of impact at the heel strike phase of gait. Custom foot Orthotics along with sound footwear advice are highly effective in treating this type of foot.

If you would like to discuss how your foot posture can be corrected, contact us on 08 9304 1898 to arrange an appointment today.