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This fall, the leaves are falling, and we are in awe of the pretty colors that accompany the season. But with this beauty comes a lot of yard work to clean up the fallen leaves. While you may attribute the back pain that results from these chores to typical back problems, many people overlook the link between back pain and their feet. We’ve outlined 3 ways that back pain and foot pain are connected, and how you can avoid them this season.

  1. The Sciatic Nerve

    Since the back is so large and sensitive, it can cause pain in a lot of unexpected areas. Our nerves work in odd ways, constantly sending signals to different parts of the body. Lower back pain can often be connected to the feet, one of the most common causes being the sciatic nerve.

    The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs from the lower part of your spine through your legs and down to your feet. This nerve sends the commands that allow for basic movements like walking or sitting. When this nerve is pinched or compressed, it can cause pain along the nerve all the way down to your feet.

  2. Pronation

    While issues with your back could cause foot pain, issues in your feet can easily cause a domino effect leading to back pain. If you are a runner, you are probably familiar with overpronation and underpronation. Pronation refers to the way the foot rolls inward during its normal motion, and these issues often contribute to lower back pain. Overpronation occurs when your feet turn inward too much, and underpronation is when your feet turn outward too much.

    Overpronation of the foot causes changes that extend up through the leg to your lower back. If you tend to overpronate when you walk or run, that inward motion can cause pain in your lower back and knees. When you underpronate, your feet are turned excessively outward, pushing your hips and spine out of alignment, causing lower back pain.

  3. Improper Footwear

    You’ve probably heard about how important wearing the right shoes is for your feet, but did you know it can also affect your back? Wearing the wrong footwear can cause both foot pain and back pain.

    Often, your foot health directly affects your spinal health. For instance, wearing shoes with enough arch support will ensure you keep your spine in proper alignment. Custom orthotics are often used to help this issue, as they provide support and relieve pain.

How to Avoid Back and Foot Pain This Fall

As you complete your autumn chores, you can take preventative measures so that you don’t experience these connected pains and aches. Whether you’re raking leaves or clearing the gutters, there are steps you can take to avoid foot and back pain.

While it may not seem like it, yard work is a form of exercise that needs just as much prep as a workout. Be sure to stretch and warm-up before you start crossing things off of the chore list. Remember to control your foot pronation when you are completing any activity and practice proper posture when raking leaves. Finally, remember to take breaks so you don’t overexert your joints.

You can still get everything done this fall, just remember to practice safety while doing it. Your spinal health often directly impacts your foot health and vice versa. If you are having foot pain, or want to know if foot pain is the cause of your back pain, visit us at San Antonio Podiatry Associates. We offer a variety of services for foot and ankle pain, including custom orthotics and sports injury treatment.

Are you looking for a podiatrist near you? If you need relief from foot and back pain, the podiatry specialists at San Antonio Podiatry Associates are here to help. With more than 145 years of combined experience, our team is equipped to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the efficient, personalized treatment you need. Schedule an appointment today, or call 210-405-7672 for more information.