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Low back pain? It could start and end with your feet.

Newcastle Podiatry - Friday, November 30, 2012

The most common question I am asked by my patients is “why feet?”

The misconception they have is that podiatrists only treat the foot.

In fact foot injuries and foot pain are only a small part of what we, at Newcastle Podiatry, diagnose and treat on a daily basis.

Low back pain is a very common complaint and not many people understand how movement and alignment of the pelvis, leg, ankle and foot is intricately connected to the development of acute and chronic low back pain. Yet it can easily happen to people young and old, male and female.

Let me share the story of one patient in particular.

This previously very active 23 year old male was forced to have his big toe fused surgically as a result of severe arthritis.

However, as the big toe is extremely important in allowing effective propulsion in gait, he was forced to compensate which meant turning his hip out.

This had the effect of causing rotation at his pelvis and stabilising through his sacroiliac joint.

In turn, this forced an increase in motion in his lower spine and subsequently a bulging disc.

Result? Unacceptable, continuous low back pain.

Using prescription orthotics, we were able to make a careful adjustment to his propulsive phase of gait in order to stop the pelvic compensation.

And when I reviewed him recently, I was thrilled to learn that his back pain had settled and he had begun running once more.

Now, this was a fairly severe case, but even the most subtle asymmetry or mild instability can cause compensations leading to chronic low back pain.

So if you are suffering, make an appointment today with one of our podiatrist’s.

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