The feet are the foundation of movement for the body. Feet contain over a hundred muscles and ligaments that stabilize the bones. The feet are complex structures and many things can go wrong that can affect the back, hips, and knees. A chiropractor treats the entire body, not just the back. If you are experiencing back pain due to structural foot problems, the chiropractors at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center can provide gentle, effective treatment, without the use of invasive pain management methods.
Are Your Feet Causing Your Back Pain?
Below are some common foot problems that can affect your back, causing extreme pain and discomfort over time, if not addressed properly.
Structural Foot Problems & Other Causes of Foot and Back Pain
Each foot has a total of three arches. These arches lend support and strength, keeping the feet balanced and adding a spring to your step. A human isn’t born with these arches. Arches develop over time as the feet endure the weight of the body. Certain structural foot problems can occur that can result in foot, leg, and back pain, over time.
Unfortunately, some people do not develop arches that are fully formed. Other people that do develop fully formed arches may sustain an injury that flattens the arches. In both cases, a person can develop what is called flat feet. Flat feet affect approximately 20% to 30% of the population and it’s a common cause of injury and severe pain. If a person has flat feet it can affect the way they walk, causing a person to move in a way that places additional stress on tissues in the feet and ankles, as well as the tendons. Flat feet do not provide the support and balance that the other joints need. They also cannot cushion the other joints from shock. A person with flat feet typically experiences symptoms such as swelling on the inside of the ankle, pain around the heel, and unexplained back pain and knee pain.
Some people may have very high arches, also referred to as Cavus foot. This condition can be a result of cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, or it can be genetic. High arches can place too much pressure on the heel and ball of the foot. This can result in pain when a person walks or stands for an extended period of time. High arches can also cause the feet to roll inward, placing stress on the knees and ankles.
A runner is probably familiar with the terms underpronation and overpronation. These are descriptions of problematic gaits.
Overpronation occurs when the outside of the heel hits the ground first, causing the foot to roll inward toward the arch. Over time, this type of gait can flatten the foot and stretch ligaments.
Underpronation is the opposite of overpronation. Instead of the foot rolling too far inward, the foot doesn’t roll inward enough. Instead, the foot tends to roll outward, which places pressure on the toes and ankles. This can put a strain on tissues in the ankles and feet, resulting in damage over time.
Both underpronation and overpronation can cause lower back pain, hip pain, and knee pain if left untreated. Chiropractic treatment can provide immediate relief from pain, while orthotics use can address pronation issues, providing support to keep the gait balanced.
Pinched Sciatic Nerve
The sciatic nerve consists of a bundle of nerves that start from the lower portion of the spine and run down the legs. When the sciatic nerve root is pinched, it can result in severe leg pain and lower back pain.
Sciatic pain can be very debilitating and can prevent a person from participating in the activities they once loved. In severe cases, sciatica pain can be difficult to manage. Some physicians may prescribe medication or recommend over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve the pain, but this is simply masking the problem. Chiropractic treatment will address the pain, not mask the symptoms. Adjustments can help alleviate pain caused by a compressed nerve and improve a person’s mobility and range of motion.
Differences in Leg Length
In some cases, the cause of foot pain and back pain may be due to one leg being slightly shorter than the other. This can be caused by scoliosis, genetics, or uneven growth. A chiropractor can screen a patient for this issue and see if it’s contributing to a patient’s lower back pain. If a person has a leg length difference, they can wear an orthotic lift in the shoe of their shorter leg to help even things out and correct an abnormal gait.
The Link Between Foot Pain and Back Pain
A person with high arches or flat feet is at a higher risk for joint pain and back problems. The abnormal gaits that are caused by these structural issues can result in chronic pain and extra stress placed on the hips and knees, which can throw the lower back out of alignment.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
If you’re experiencing knee pain or back pain and cannot determine the underlying cause of it, your feet can be to blame. A chiropractor can examine your feet and use x-rays to diagnose structural foot problems, address gait concerns, and identify leg length differences.
The body has three main shock absorbers:
- The spine
- The knees
- The feet
If the feet cannot handle the shock, it will pass the impact absorption to the knees. If a person’s knees are not equipped to handle the shock, it will pass the absorption to the back, causing pain, especially if there’s a misalignment in the pelvis or lower region.
A visit to a chiropractor can do wonders for people who are suffering from back pain caused by structural foot issues, an abnormal gait, spinal stenosis, a foot deformity, or other health concerns.
If a chiropractor determines that the feet are causing a patient’s back pain, they can develop a program that can include spinal adjustments, and adjustments of the foot to stabilize the postural foundation. They may also recommend custom-fitted orthotic arch supports.
Both high arches and flat feet can be treated with custom orthotics. People with flat feet will benefit from an orthotic insert that provides the same type of support that natural arches would. People with high arches will require orthotics that disperse their weight across the foot evenly. The use of shoe inserts can provide almost instant foot pain relief. But chiropractic treatment may still be necessary to address back pain caused by flat feet or high arches.
Contact Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center Today
The Chiropractors at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center are experts in body mechanics and offer comprehensive treatment options that can address foot health, back pain, and more. They treat the whole body using a natural, holistic approach that can provide immediate pain relief. Correcting a foot problem now can prevent injury or pain in the future. The Deep Roots chiropractors can examine you to assess your condition and identify the underlying cause of your pain and discomfort. They will then create a custom treatment plan that will help relieve your pain and put you on the path to total health and wellness.
If you’re experiencing back pain due to a structural foot issue, contact the office today to schedule an appointment and let the team at Deep Roots Chiropractic Health Center provide the type of care and treatment that can improve your well-being and overall quality of life.