Lower back pain... just how common is it?
Well it is said that up to 70% of the population will suffer from back pain at some stage in their lives. It can occur at any age and for various reasons.
Back pain may be osseous (bony), neuropathic (the result of nerve damage) or soft tissue (muscles and ligaments) in its origin. One of the major causes of lower back pain is incorrect positioning of the pelvis during walking, and this is very often due to foot malalignment.
There are many many causes, however VERY COMMON CAUSES that are frequently overlooked include:
1. Excessive Pronation:
Excess pronation, or 'flat feet', causes various rotations throughout the legs during the walking cycle. The end result of these rotations is a forward tilt of the pelvis, which in turn increases abnormal curvature of the spine and places strain on the muscles and ligaments of the lower back. This is just one way in which can contribute to back lower pain.
2. Asymmetrical Movement of the Feet and Legs:
If one foot is rolling in or out significantly further than the other, not only is there an increased curvature through the lower back, but a pelvic tilt can result.
This can lead to a functional scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) or another functional imbalance called lordosis. This can place strain on the associated muscles and ligaments around the lower back area and predisposes individuals to lower back pain.
Once your feet have been examined, (usually via a computerised or digital video gait analysis), a specific treatment plan can be devised according to your needs. This may include any one or a combination of the following options:
This is necessary to balance the feet and control abnormal motion. This treatment assists in stabilising the pelvis at the base of the spine by restoring symmetry of motion and maintaining normal function of the spine. This helps to address a major contributing factor to chronic lower back pain.
Physiotherapy / Chiropractic / Osteopathy / Occupational Therapy
Consulting with a chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath or occupational therapist may also be required. This treatment may be recommended as part of your treatment program, depending on each individual's situation.
Stretching / Strengthening exercises
These are often prescribed as part of your treatment program.
Your footwear is reviewed to ensure there is no aggravation of your symptoms.
WARNING : This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist, your Doctor or your foot specialist.
Still unsure about your problem? Visit our Foot Problems page and ask us a question about your specific problem. We'll do our best to help.