“My back hurts”. There is a good chance you have made this comment at some point in your life.
Millions of Australians report dealing with lower back pain. Even though back pain is a common issue, it can be difficult to pinpoint its root cause. A sometimes overlooked source of back pain is your feet.
Alternatively, back pain can also be a potential cause of foot pain. Here, we’ll explore the possible connection between lower back pain and foot pain and potential treatment solutions.
The Possible Connection Between Lower Back Pain and Foot Pain
While we often think of foot pain as only dealing with the feet and back pain as only related to the back, there may be a relationship between people suffering from lower back pain and foot pain.
Imagine your body as a spiderweb, completely interconnected, including a line travelling from your back to your feet. If there is tension in one part of the web, or it isn’t functioning properly, it can easily affect another part of the web.
The back and feet are both important parts of the body, especially as we are bipedal (walk on 2 feet). Just as an individual link can disrupt the chain, pain in your feet may affect your lower back and vice versa.
The spine is your central channel for movement, all limbs connect to it. Dysfunction in the spine can affect many parts of the body, including your feet. Maintaining a healthy back may translate to an improvement in your foot pain.
Your feet act as the foundation of the body and work to support your body’s weight, provide balance, absorb shock, and flex to handle uneven terrain. If you are experiencing issues with your feet, it can disrupt your gait (the way you walk) and therefore other areas of your body, such as your lower back.
Is Foot Pain Causing Your Lower Back Pain?
If you are experiencing foot pain, you may be compensating by hobbling, walking more on the outer sides of your feet, or walking on your tiptoes. These changes in posture can lead to areas of tightness and pain in other spots in the body, including the knees, calves, lower back, and hips.
Addressing foot pain may improve your walking form and posture. This may translate to less pain in other areas of the body, including the lower back.
Two Common Foot Postures That May Be Making Your Low Back Pain Worse
1. Over-Pronated Low Arch
An over-pronated low arch, more commonly known as flat feet, refers to arches that collapse inwards. This position causes the legs to rotate inwards and the pelvis to tilt forward.
This misalignment exaggerates the lower back’s curve, leading to increased strain and fatigue in that region. Lower back pain and fatigue are often more noticeable after a long day of standing or exercising.
2. Over-Supinated High Arch
A foot with a high arch may not be as effective at absorbing shock. This lack of cushioning at the foot level may translate to pain in the lower back, especially after a busy day or high impact activities such as running.
Is Your Back Pain Causing Your Foot Pain
Tension or pain in the lower back is often assumed to be caused by the effects of ageing, injury, or heavy lifting. However, you may want to have a professional evaluate your footwear, how you walk, and any foot conditions you are experiencing.
Dysfunction in the feet or even the wrong footwear can translate to pain, tension, fatigue, and misalignment in the hip and lower back area.
Does Sciatica Affect Your Feet?
In some cases, lower back pain may lead to pain in the feet. One of the most common instances of back pain leading to foot pain involves the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is a large bundle of five important nerves that begins near the base of the spine and extends through the lower legs, hips, and glutes down to the toes.
If the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, inflamed, constricted, or pinched, the pain can radiate from your lower back to your feet. This condition is known as Sciatica.
Sciatica stretches and chiropractic treatment are two key approaches to natural sciatica pain relief.
Would You Like to Learn More About Treating Lower Back Pain and Foot Pain?
If you are struggling with lower back pain and foot pain and would like to find out if they are linked, please feel free to reach out to our experienced, caring team.
Our team of chiropractors can work with you to uncover the root cause of your pain and develop a customised treatment plan to help you take a holistic approach to pain relief.
At Open Space Healing, our mission is to help you live a pain-free, enjoyable life. Contact us today to learn more about our holistic approach to healing and how we can help you on your health and wellness journey.