Column: Your feet and lower back pain


Commentary by Dr. David Sullivan

If you’re living with chronic lower back pain, you’re not alone: a significant number of American adults experience this problem. But did you know the key to solving lower back pain could lie in your feet?

A nervy connection

Your sciatic nerve is a group of nerves that go from the lower part of your spine and down through your legs. If something pinches or presses on the sciatic nerve, you may experience pain in your back, down the back of your thighs and even in your feet.

Foot structure

Biomechanical problems such as a leg-length discrepancy can impact the way you walk and leave you with back pain. A low arch can change your posture, making your lower back curve more than it should.

The way your feet turn — called pronation — also impacts your back. If your feet overpronate, or turn inward when you walk or run, you may notice back and knee pain. Or, if you supinate — your feet turn outward— you can impact your spinal alignment.

Foot conditions

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that develops when the ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed. Typically, this causes heel and arch pain. But untreated plantar fasciitis can also lead to lower back pain, as the trouble in your feet impacts your gait.

Your shoes

Wearing shoes without enough arch support such as flip flops can lead to back pain. High heels can also lead to lower back pain, especially stilettos, since they affect your posture and center of gravity.

Are you living with lower back pain and can’t find relief? The answer could be found in your feet, so schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The treatment we provide could be the solution to your lower back pain.

Dr. David Sullivan is the owner of Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC


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