The following information relates to back pain caused by poor foot and lower limb mechanics only.
What is back pain?
Back pain is pain that is felt anywhere in the back area. Back pain that is related to poor foot and lower limb mechanics typically produces pain in the lower back, however, pain can also be felt in the upper back and shoulder as well.
Back pain falls in to two categories; specific back pain and non-specific back pain.
Specific back pain, as the name suggests, has a specific cause, for example, a pre-existing medical condition, or trauma to the back or spine. Back pain caused by poor foot and lower limb mechanics is classed as non-specific back pain; this means that it is not caused by an underlying medical condition. Non-specific back pain is the result of either a muscle sprain, strain, tightness, or nerve irritation.
What causes back pain?
Back pain has a number of causes, however, the number one cause after injury is mechanical in nature. Mechanical pains are those that have been caused because the body is not working as it should, and this can put strain on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the back.
Poor foot and lower limb mechanics is not necessarily the first thing a person thinks of when they have back pain, however, the feet are the foundations of the body, and as a result they can have a direct effect on structures further up the body. If the feet are not functioning correctly they can throw the entire body out of kilter. For example, if one foot is flatter than the other it can create a Leg length difference, which then affects the position of the pelvis and therefore the back.
Flat feet can also have an effect at the knee and thigh, as this foot position internally rotates them both; this means that the knee and thigh turn inwards. As the knee and thigh turn inwards the pelvis is pushed forward on that side. Back pain can occur because in order for the opposite leg to move its side forward, which is necessary for walking, it must work harder and this creates stress in the lower back.
Furthermore, the position of the feet also has an effect on the curvature of the lower spine. For example, if you have flat feet the curvature of the lower spine will be increased, which strains the muscles and ligaments. Orthoses (shoe inserts) can help this problem by improving the position of the foot, which in turn will relieve any back pain attributed to poor foot position.
Signs and symptoms of back pain
The signs and symptoms of back pain include:
- Pain, aching, tightness in the back
- Muscle spasms
How is back pain diagnosed?
If your back pain is due to poor foot and lower limb mechanics a podiatrist here at Chiropody.co.uk will be able to diagnose this based on a Biomechanical assessments and the signs and symptoms.
Benefits of podiatry for back pain
If you have back pain and you feel that it is due to a mechanical problem podiatry may benefit you. The following benefits may be achieved through podiatric assessment and management:
- Decrease in pain
- Decrease in inflammation
- Improvement in posture
- Reduction in muscle tightness
- Improved muscle strength
- Improvement in skeletal function
- Improvement in gait
What would podiatry for back pain involve?
If you have back pain we recommend that you have a Biomechanical assessments. A visit to Chiropody.co.uk always begins with an initial assessment. The initial assessment entails:
- A thorough medical history
- An account of the problem
- A history of the problem
- An examination of the affected area
- An examination of foot posture (the foot position)
- An assessment of joint movement of both feet as well as the ankles, knees, and hips if necessary
- Measuring leg length
- Gait analysis
Back pain describes any pain or discomfort felt in the back area. When back pain is related to foot position the pain is described as mechanical back pain and this is typically felt in the lower back region. Mechanical pain occurs when the body is not working as it should, which puts extra strain on the ligaments and muscles in the back. Podiatric causes of lower back pain include; leg length difference, flat feet (over-pronation), and poor biomechanics. If you have any of these problems orthoses can be prescribed for you. The purpose of orthoses is to improve foot and lower limb function, reducing any pain felt as a consequence of poor function.
If you think that your back pain is related to poor foot biomechanics come and visit one of our podiatrists here at Chiropody.co.uk who will be happy to help.
To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 4222.
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