Yes. Lower back pain and foot or ankle issues are two of the most common reasons people visit their doctors. According to the Cleveland Clinic, around four out of five people suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives, while virtually everyone experiences some degree of foot and ankle problems during their lifetime. For some, these problems may be related. Here’s what you should know about the link between foot and back pain, including how regular visits with a knowledgeable and experienced podiatrist can help promote whole-body health.
Podiatric Problems That Could Contribute to Lower Back Pain
The feet, ankles, legs, and lower back are connected. When something goes wrong with even one of these vital components, it can throw the body’s weight-bearing structures out of whack, resulting in pain or reduced mobility. If you’re suffering from a foot or ankle issue and lower back pain but don’t remember injuring your back, talk to a skilled podiatrist about whether one of the following podiatric problems may be to blame.
Structural differences in your feet, such as having flat feet or high arches, can place excess strain on your back. The feet hit the ground and absorb shock with every step. However, flat or high-arched feet often lack the cushioning to do this job well, instead allowing the shock of each step to reverberate into the lower back.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Are you dealing with heel pain, bunions, big toe pain, ingrown toenails, or another painful foot or ankle injury? These and other common podiatric injuries can cause people to change the way they walk. If you favor one foot or even just a part of a foot in an attempt to avoid foot or ankle pain, the unusual walking pattern can cause pain in other parts of the body, especially the legs and lower back.
The way people walk regularly—their gait—can also contribute to back pain. For example, people who overpronate or turn their feet inward with each step often suffer from pain in the lower back and knees, while people who underpronate or turn their feet outward often grapple with pain in the hips and lower back.
Wearing shoes that fit poorly, lack adequate support or cushioning, or are the wrong shoes for the activity at hand are common contributing factors for both foot and back pain. The shoes you wear can also put you at risk for developing painful and unsightly podiatric problems such as Morton’s neuroma, hammer or mallet toes, bunions, and ingrown toenails. This just perpetuates a painful cycle where an injury causes you to change your gait, which leads to more foot and back pain.
Put a Stop to Painful Foot Problems
At Massapequa Podiatry Associates, our exceptional foot and ankle specialists, Dr. Corey Fox and Dr. Justin LoBello, help patients identify the cause of painful podiatric problems and match them with a treatment solution that gets them back on their feet as quickly, safely, and painlessly as possible. If you’re suffering from a foot or ankle condition, experiencing recent lower back pain, or are concerned that the issues may be related, let us help. In addition to advising you of helpful footwear or lifestyle changes, we also offer wide-ranging treatment options—from conservative methods to orthotics to advanced interventions such as MLS Laser Therapy, Shockwave Therapy, Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy, and the Tenex Procedure.