Arch Madness: Orthotics and Back Pain

Published March 16th, 2021 by Dr. Daner

As chiropractors, we encounter patients with low back pain quite a bit. Low back pain can have so many different causes, such as a soft tissue injury (muscles tendons ligaments), a misaligned vertebrae, spinal stenosis, etc. A commonly overlooked cause of low back pain can be a problem in the feet. Here’s what you need to know.

Back Pain…From Your Feet?

Your feet are the start of the kinetic chain of the feet, ankles, hips, and low back. A kinetic chain is “the notion that these joints and segments have an effect on one another during movement. When one is in motion, it creates a chain of events that affects the movement of neighboring joints and segments.” Basically, if there is a problem in the feet or ankles, this can work its way upwards and cause pain in the hips and low back. Your feet are your foundation, and this directly translates to the rest of the body. 

Arch Madness

To keep things simple, we have 2 arches in our feet. The lateral arch is the arch on the outside, while the medial is on the inside. People who have issues with their arches will either have less arch than they should (or flat feet), or excessively high arches. Both can cause problems in the low back. Either one of these issues can cause the ankles to pronate, which causes one's body weight to shift to either the inside or outside of the foot. This shifts the pelvis which causes abnormal hip posture and destabilizes the spine. This directly results in low back pain. Until the problem in the feet is corrected, one may continue to have low back pain. 

Let Us Fix Your Feet!

So, how do we fix the feet? If we suspect that high arches or flat feet are contributing to a patient’s low back pain, the first thing we do is take a foot scan. This illustrates for us the bottom of the foot, the arches, and the amount of pressure one is putting on the forefoot, heel, and toes. This allows us to pinpoint the problem and recommend specific, custom-made orthotics made specifically for the issues present. Orthotics are semi-rigid inserts for shoes to give the feet more support (hence helping the low back). They can be worn in both sneakers and dress shoes. 

It all starts in the feet! If your “foundation” is not strong, how can you expect the rest of the body to be? If you have low back pain that is not responding to treatment, get your feet checked today! To get started, click here to contact your local South Florida chiropractor!

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