Your Feet And Low Back Pain

To many, the thought that their feet can be a significant contributor to low back pain initially sounds crazy. Yet a simple understanding of joint mechanics shows us it is possible – and quite common.

The most common foot problem that can affect the low back is called – over pronation. This problem is evidenced when the individual is walking and you can see the foot flare out and the ankle or arch rolls in. (see picture at right) This faulty motion results in a torquing up the leg to the knee and the low back.

A recent study published in the journal Rheumatology, studied the arches of women while they were walking. The study found a link between the over pronation and low back pain. Further, this study indicated that women with flat feet are 50% more likely to develop low back pain.

pronationWhile the focus of this study was on women and pronation, as a chiropractic physician, we have seen how pronation affects both men and women for years. The figure to the right demonstrates how pronation results in a twisting or torquing up the leg.

When the foot rolls in, it then causes an inward twisting of the lower leg. This then causes an internal rotation of the knee, placing excessive stress on the inside meniscus and supporting ligaments. This torque then travels up the leg and makes the hip drop down and the lower spinal bones to rotate. As you view this torqueing in the diagram, it is easy to see how this structural problem can cause pain in the knee, hip and low back.

Beside the initial pain, the misaligned joints of the knee, hip and low back are subject to increased stress when we walk or run. If left untreated, over time this increased stress causes abnormal wear and tear on the joints, resulting in inflammation and irreversible joint degeneration.

The good news is that in most cases, chiropractic care can help! Beginning with stabilizing the foot pronation, realigning the joints and strengthening the muscles, chiropractic care works to restore the normal mechanics of the leg.

If you are experiencing chronic low back, hip or knee pain, give us a call at (314) 731-4383 to schedule and evaluation for pronation. It could be the missing link that solves your problem!