Lower back pain is a common problem for many Americans, from the fitness enthusiast to the couch potato. The cause can vary from acute injury to poor posture or repetitive movements that gradually create chronic pain. In general, lower back pain involves dysfunctional joints and muscles within the back.
Because frequent lower back pain can place such a damper on daily life, many clients and patients may make appointments with healthcare providers such as chiropractors to address the condition. There are effective solutions for lower back pain that do not rely on prescription medications or invasive methods, like the use of custom foot orthotics.
Foot orthotics can work to diminish lower back pain by correcting abnormal gait issues, which may be causing the pain. If a client or patient is displaying abnormal gait patterns, this could lead to repetitive motion injury, as he or she is consistently walking, running or moving in a dysfunctional manner. Pain the lower back is not an uncommon result of moving with an abnormal gait for a long period of time.
Most custom foot orthotics, including those that are developed to address lower back pain, aim to bring the feet, as well as the legs, back into symmetry. In other words, the foot orthotics will usually be designed in a manner that corrects any asymmetry of the feet in order to help bring about a more normal and healthy gait. When the feet are functioning optimally, this can improve the function of the entire body and, in turn, decrease lower back pain.
A study published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association found that people being treated for chronic lower back pain with custom foot orthotics experienced more than twice the improvement in pain, and the relief lasted about twice as long as people with chronic lower back pain who were being treated with standard care.1
1Dananberg, HJ, Guiliano, M. Chronic low-back pain and its response to custom-made foot orthoses. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1999:89(3);109-117.