Everyone experiences lower back pain from time to time. For some people, however, back pain is a chronic condition that can be both painful and debilitating. Many people look to their back as the cause of their pain, yet are surprised to find the problem often begins from the ground up.

Your feet are the foundation of your entire body. When they are not properly supported, it can lead to problems elsewhere in your body, including your back. If you suffer from chronic back pain, you may be looking for relief. Custom foot orthotics may be able to help, and we’re here to tell you how.

The Connection Between Your Lower Back And Your Feet

The connection between your back and your feet may not be immediately apparent, but it plays a big role. Your feet are the foundation of your body: they support your entire weight and absorb the impact of every step you take. When they aren't working properly, it can put a strain on your back. Back pain can be caused by a variety of factors that are linked to the feet, including:

  • The Sciatic Nerve - The most prevalent factor in back and foot pain is a problem with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is made up of five nerves that travel from your lower back down your legs. When this nerve is compressed or pinched, you may feel discomfort in your lower back and feet.

  • Biomechanical Difficulties - Lower back pain can sometimes be caused by biomechanical issues with your feet. This might be due to a bad posture or having one leg longer than the other.

  • Flat Feet - Flat feet, in this situation, can cause your thighs and knees to rotate inward, resulting in an exaggerated curvature of your lower back. This posture can put additional strain on your hips and knees over time, causing back discomfort.

  • Pronation - Both underpronation and overpronation are very common issues that can contribute to lower back pain. Overpronation is the inward turning of your feet. If you overpronate, the inside of your shoes may be flattened from wear. The foot's inward motion, especially while walking or running, might cause discomfort in your lower back and knees.

    Underpronation is the opposite of overpronation. When you run or walk with underpronation, your feet turn excessively outward. This can cause your spine and hips to become misaligned, which might lead to lower back discomfort.

  • Improper Footwear - If you wear shoes that don't provide adequate arch support on a daily basis, you'll almost certainly experience lower back and foot pain. Choosing the proper footwear is crucial, especially if you engage in regular walking, running, or other athletic activities. You'll need shoes with adequate arch support to maintain a straight spine. Wearing the right footwear can aid with common foot difficulties.

While it may not be your first assumption when experiencing back pain, your feet play a large role in your spinal health. If you are experiencing chronic back pain that you think is linked to a foot problem, you should speak with your podiatrist.

How Custom Orthotics Can Help

Custom orthotics are designed to support your feet in their natural position. This reduces stress on your feet, ankles, knees, and hips, which can all lead to lower back pain. There are many benefits to wearing custom orthotics for back pain relief, including these examples:

  • Orthotics can help correct any imbalances in your stride that may be contributing to your back pain.
  • Wearing orthotics can correct foot pronation, one of the aforementioned causes of back pain. This will stabilize your foot position and result in improved posture and gait (the way you walk).
  • You'll have less knee pain because your knees will not be over-flexed.
  • Your hips will return to a more normal position, which will help to stabilize the pelvis and improve your posture.
  • You may experience reduced inward curving of the lumbar spine, which is associated with back discomfort.

Custom foot orthotics can help correct all of the foot components that contribute to your back discomfort, including structural deficiencies, restricted range of motion, laxity in connective tissue, and limb length variances. Orthotics are only effective at reducing back pain if they address all of these flaws.

You may get a pair of generic orthotics at your local drug store, but these one-size-fits-all solutions aren't always going to be beneficial for your specific foot issue. Over-the-counter orthotics may increase your back discomfort in some situations. Instead, invest in customized orthotics created by our team of specialists to get the best results.

At San Antonio Podiatry, we use cutting-edge technology to create custom foot orthotics that mold perfectly to your feet. If you are experiencing back or foot pain, let the team at San Antonio Podiatry provide you with the relief you deserve.

Are you looking for a podiatrist near you? If you need relief from foot 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.