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Lower back pain and feet

Lower back pain and feet

Could your lower back pain be connected to your feet?

There are many different causes of lower back pain, and you may already be familiar with a few of them. However, you may not realise that the pain in your lower back may be connected to your feet.  Whilst this link between your feet and lower back pain may not be immediately obvious, there are actually a few ways that the two may be connected.

Flat feet

Also known as pes planus or fallen arches, flat feet are a common condition where the arches of the feet are very close to the ground. You can recognise flat feet by looking at the inner edge of your feet and seeing how much of your foot is touching the ground. If you can’t see much of a gap between the edge of your foot and the ground, then you may have flat feet. When you have fallen arches, your thighs and knees may rotate inwards which, over time, can cause curvature of your lower back and contribute to back pain.

Unsupportive footwear

When footwear doesn’t offer your feet a good level of arch support, you may notice pain in both your feet and your back. Find out more about the causes and treatment of arch pain in our guide to arch pain. Shoes should offer enough arch support to help your spine stay in alignment. Expert advice from a podiatrist could help you ensure that you’re wearing shoes that are giving your feet and back the support they need.

Problems with pronation

Pronation is essential for walking, running and jumping and is the motion when your foot turns inward and rolls to absorb pressure when your heel hits the ground. This varies between people and some individuals may under pronate or, more commonly, over pronate. These are two very common issues that can sometimes be the root cause of back pain. Under pronation is when your feet are noticeably turned outwards when you walk or run. This can cause misalignment in your hips and spine, which in turn can cause back pain. Over pronation, on the other hand, is when your feet turn inwards when you’re walking or running. Over time, this can also lead to pain in the knees and lower back.

Ways to ensure your feet are supported

If you are concerned about any problems with your feet, visit your local podiatrists as they can assess how you walk and if you have any underlying problems with your feet. They can check if you over or under pronate and will advise on the best footwear for you. You can also consider switching to more supportive footwear or using insoles to support your arches as well as cushion your feet. This can be especially beneficial if you spend a lot of time on your feet or take part in high impact exercise, like running.  

We offer a range of orthotic insoles which have been designed by biomechanic specialists to help change the positioning and movement of the feet to help avoid misalignment. They also provide clinically proven pain relief, and each is specifically designed to support and cushion the feet to help reduce the impact when walking or running. The right insoles may help alleviate your lower back pain, and your podiatrist could help you decide whether your back pain may be connected to your feet or not.


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