Low back pain

What is it?

Some low back pain is the result of abnormal foot biomechanics and it is often a situation where your health care practitioner will not be able to determine if the foot or the low back is the original cause of the problem. Many low back conditions are related to weak gluteal (buttock) muscles, and when strengthening of the gluteal muscles doesn’t help, the next stop should be to assess the feet.

What are the symptoms?

Low back pain can manifest in many ways, deep aching muscles pain (relieved with rest), sharp pain with movement (relieved with rest) or radiating pain down the leg. Even if the low back pain is related to the foot, there may be no foot pain.

What causes it?

Low back conditions may be linked to abnormal biomechanics that include the low back joints, hips, knees or foot joints. While weight bearing (standing, walking, running), the joints from the foot up to the spine are called the Closed Kinetic Chain. If the foot moves abnormally, such as when the arch drops, there is a chain reaction up the body. The knee, hips and low back joints move abnormally causing inflammation and pain.

How is it treated?

Whether the foot is the cause or result of the problem, a custom orthotic is required if your health care provider detects abnormal foot function. The custom orthotic should be accompanied by strengthening exercises and treatment to reduce the inflammation and muscle imbalances.