When Do You Need Extra Foot Support
Shoe inserts and custom orthotics are used widely for foot problems. Common diagnoses for which various types of foot support are prescribed include flat arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis, diabetes-related neuropathy, and more. If you think you have any of these, speak with your healthcare provider and/or podiatrist.
But what about back problems?
Perhaps the most common spine-related reason for custom orthotics is a leg length difference. A leg length difference can unlevel the pelvis which in turn may affect your spinal alignment and muscle balance.
It works like this: As the short leg tries to reach the ground , it essentially drags the pelvis on that side down with it. The result is the pelvis and hip on the short leg side become habitually lower than on the long leg side. A custom-designed insert can help even out the effective length of the legs as well as restore balance to your pelvic position, especially in weight-bearing activities. The pelvis functions as a base for spinal alignment and movement, so this type of correction may exert a big influence on your back health.
Other than that, most experts agree that custom orthotics and other types of foot support are not geared towards any specific spine-related diagnosis. Rather, they are considered to be potentially useful for general maintenance.
So how does foot pronation increase low back pain? Basically by one or two mechanisms.
Why Your Custom Orthotics May Cause Pain
Unfortunately, custom orthotic shoe inserts dont come with a guarantee. Stress from orthotics can actually lead to weak ankles, feet or knees and cause additional foot pain.
Furthermore, its difficult to get relief from orthotic inserts that werent made correctly. You may also suffer from sore muscles as your body attempts to adapt to the orthotics. You may also need to have them frequently adjusted as the pressure and strain on your feet changes due to your shifting alignment.
Understanding Foot Biomechanics To Develop Orthotics For Knee Pain
We believe that the most common causes of Patello-femoral pain are age, injury, and trauma, whereas nobody pays attention to faulty foot biomechanics. This surprisingly plays an important role in causing this pain as most health practitioners are of the opinion that our manner of walking, and the position of our feet and ankles affect our legs, knees, and hips and even lower back up to a large extent.
Studies suggest that close to 70% of the population has a condition called over-pronation. This means that their ankles tend to roll inwards and that the arch is low when the foot lands on the ground while we are walking. Experts say that this over-pronation affects our feet and also causes our lower legs to rotate.
Our knees are not meant to rotate but to form a link between our upper and lower leg. They function as a hinge joint that is designed to flex and extend forward our lower leg. However, in many cases when our foot rolls inwards, it is called over-pronation and it forces our lower leg to rotate, which places abnormal stress on our knee joints. This results in deterioration of the knee function.
This inevitably leads to abnormal wear and tear of the knee cartilage resulting in long-term damage and sharp chronic pain. Most physiotherapists in the US have now started to include feet assessment in knee diagnosis as more and more cases of people suffering from over-pronation are coming up.
Recommended Reading: Can Weight Gain Cause Back Pain
Shock Transmission And Asymmetry
Whether a foot tends toward hyperpronation or excessive supination, the result can be excessive shock transmitted into the spinal joints. A high-arched foot with limited range of motion attenuates shock poorly, as does a collapsed-arch foot.6 In either case, the forces are felt in the joints of the pelvis and spine.
Individually designed stabilizing orthotics with shock-absorbing materials can eliminate much of this damaging shock transmission.
When there is a leg-length discrepancy , the pelvis will tilt to one side. This asymmetry causes vertebral rotation and recurrent subluxation, and possibly even a functional scoliosis.
The correct use of orthotics can provide substantial correction for structural short legs.
How Misaligned Feet Affect Your Body
During a consultation at City Podiatry, your doctor examines your feet and legs and watches how you walk to determine if the pain you feel in your knees, hips, or lower back originates from the misalignment in your feet.
Misaligned feet, fallen arches, and other foot problems can lead to issues that include:
- Lower back pain
If the bones in your foot are misaligned for any of these reasons, or other foot conditions, we may recommend custom-fit orthotics to help align your your feet, support your arches, and provide the support you need to walk without foot or joint pain.
Read Also: Can Back Pain Be Associated With Heart Problems
Custom Orthotics In Manalapan Nj
Here at Destination Wellness Center, we are proud to bring patients custom orthotics from Foot Levelers. Clinical studies have shown that orthotics from Foot Levelers help reduce low back pain by 34.5% alone. When foot levelers orthotics are combined with a specific treatment plan, results can be far greater..
Once Dr Allen has a chance to sit down and speak with you about your symptoms, take your health history and perform a comprehensive set of examinations , hell be able to determine whether or not custom orthotics are right for you.
Do you think you could benefit from custom orthotics? Then contact our office today or call our office at 780-7333.
How To Relieve Knee Pain
Your best knee pain treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the pain. Often, a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the affected knee can help to alleviate some symptoms. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help to provide some knee pain relief.
Unless you have a more serious, chronic condition, there are some simple tips that can help you get the knee pain relief you need:
- Use insoles or inserts that provide a combination of shock absorption, cushioning and support for your feet, which in turn can help relieve knee pain and move more comfortably. Dr. Scholls Orthotics for Knee Pain are clinically proven to relieve and help prevent general knee pain as well as Runners Knee and Knee Osteoarthritis.
- For those with flat feet, orthotics prescribed by healthcare professionals may provide relief for sore knees, by reducing the physical stress on the knee and improving foot and leg alignment. Braces may also be used to support and protect the knee.
- It is best to contact your doctor if you are:
- Having difficulty putting weight on your knee.
- Unable to flex or extend your knee to its full extent.
- Experiencing significant swelling.
- Experiencing a fever alongside knee swelling, redness, and pain.
- Finding your knee gives-way or cant support your weight.
Also Check: Which Is Better For Back Pain Aleve Or Tylenol
Vacuuming Do Orthotics Help Lower Back Pain
When it comes to strengthening the lower back, concentrating on your transverse abdominal muscles which are twisted around the midline of your body is just one of the most effective methods to do it. These muscles are actually type in supporting your spine and also lower back. While people frequently towards crises for their transverse abdominals, individuals can inadvertently toss out their lower back if their core isnt strong sufficient.
Just how to do it: In a standing placement, take a deep breath and also attract your stubborn belly button in towards your back, having as well as engaging your abdominal muscle muscular tissues as you do so. Envision if a person was going to show up and punch you in the belly as well as you want your intestine to be tough and able to take it thats what it should feel like. Hold it, and release slowly. Repeat a few more times.
Foot Orthotics And The Domino Effect
This process can be illustrated in the following manner. In a person with normal foot arches, if one draws an imaginary line down the tibia to the foot, that imaginary line should pass between the persons big toe and second toe. However, if one draws the same imaginary line on a person with either flat or excessively high foot arches that cause the foot and ankle to pronate, or roll inward, that line would pass through the inside of the big toe instead.
In people with pronated feet and ankles, the bearing of body weight shifts to the outside of the foot, which can lead to painful bunions, among other problems.
Pronated feet and ankles can also cause the knees to turn inward, a condition commonly known as knock-knees. This abnormal placement of the knees then shifts the angle where the thigh bone meets the pelvis, resulting in an unsteady hip posture that also destabilizes the spine. The result is a domino effect that starts at the feet, works its way up the leg and into the pelvis and spine. Walking and standing with the feet, legs, hips, and spine constantly out of alignment can contribute to back pain.
The use of foot orthotics that realign the rear of the foot to prevent foot pronation may help stop this domino effect from occurring.
You May Like: Can Lower Back Pain Cause Dizziness
Who Should Wear Custom Foot Orthotics
Orthotics are very helpful after knee, hip and lower back surgery, especially when the patient has a problematic foot type, such as a flat foot or a foot with a high arch, says Rock G. Positano. These devices are quite helpful in helping to protect the lower extremity.
In addition to providing relief for painful foot problems or injuries, orthotics may also help people who must walk or stand for a long time as part of their job. People who are overweight may also benefit from orthotics, which can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet. Minor problems are often magnified due to the increased weight, he adds.
For athletes, their sports result in a great deal of movement and pressure on the foot. Slight imbalances in the foot which may not be harmful or even detectable under usual circumstances may make a person more vulnerable to injury with the extra stress of sports activity. By eliminating the need for the muscles to compensate for imbalances you dont know are there, orthotics can reduce fatigue and promote efficient muscle function to enhance performance.
Foot orthotics do not actually correct foot or ankle problems, such as fallen arches. But orthotics can reposition the structures in the foot to help them move properly and reduce the chance of injury, says Rock CJay Positano. Custom orthotics can provide relief for many different types of foot pain including:
Will Orthotics Actually Make The Pain Go Away
The ability of an orthotic device to treat a problem and reduce the pain it causes largely depends on what the problem is. Back pain that comes from a problem like scoliosis might require surgery, as it is a major defect within the spine. Orthotics can become a part of the surgical recovery process, but they arent a complete solution.
Orthotics work best for minor issues particularly those where surgery would be deemed too extreme, or has already been performed. Theyre also great for common overuse injuries experienced by people who work on their feet or are very athletic. Many diabetes patients find that orthotics help the address some of the painful side effects that come with their condition, particularly those affecting the feet and the lower legs.
Since orthotics work by modifying the way your body moves, they correct painful movements and minor muscular injuries that make life difficult. If your body isnt moving the way that its supposed to, weight and pressure are being put onto muscles, tendons, and joints that arent prepared to handle it. Thats the source of the pain. Orthotics redirect the weight and pressure to give the affected area a break, restoring the autonomy of the wearer.
Read Also: How To Self Treat Lower Back Pain
Stress Travels Up Your Bodys Kinetic Chain
Youre probably surprised to hear that foot orthotics can help to banish back pain, but the fact is that foot problems often lead to issues further up the body.
Why is that the case? Because when you have poor foot or ankle function, your feet cant support your weight properly, their shock-absorbing abilities are impaired and pressure is unevenly distributed across your soles. That leads to an abnormal posture and gait, forcing other parts of your body to compensate for your feets failings. Your back is therefore subjected to more than its fair share of the stress associated with movement.
Feet are at the bottom of whats known in the medical world as the kinetic chain, which links the ankles, knees, hips, spine, etc. It can all too easily become a chain of pain if issues with your feet your bodys foundations have a knock-on effect on other areas.
The Link Between Your Feet And Low Back Pain
If you live with lower back pain, you have a lot of company. Millions of Americans deal with acute lower back pain, and, unfortunately, this pain becomes chronic for 20% of sufferers. And when it comes to back pain, theres one cause thats often overlooked: your feet.
The connection between your feet and your lower back pain may not seem immediately obvious. However, there is more than one way that your feet and back pain can be linked. In this blog, the doctors at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain the connection between back pain and your feet.
Read Also: How To Treat Upper Back Pain
Do Custom Orthotic Shoe Inserts Really Work
According to a study recently published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, orthotic insoles can indeed improve the pressure and pain associated with flexible flatfoot.
A Canadian review of orthotics published in the online PainScience journal found custom orthotics to be helpful in treating a variety of conditions including plantar fasciitis, arthritis, diabetes and a condition associated with pain in the ball of the foot knows as metatarsalgia.
Other painful foot conditions for which custom shoe inserts are prescribed include Achilles tendonitis, bunions, hammertoes and misalignment.
When prescribed by your podiatrist and used together with other treatments, custom shoe inserts often do provide relief from foot pain. If they dont seem to be working for you or are causing more foot pain, its time for another call to your podiatrist.
How Back Pain Can Start At Ground Level
Back pain is as frustrating as it is common, partly because the cause is seldom clear. Some suffer from back pain so severe they can barely move, and get to the point of asking themselves ‘will my back pain ever go away?’ For many, finding back pain relief might require focusing on an unlikely source: the positioning of your feet. When you walk, you put the force of as much as five times your body weight on each foot. If your feet arent absorbing that shock or redistributing it properly, you can develop issues that span all the way from your soles to your spine. Muscles in your back can become fatigued and inflamed and eventually spasm as they try to absorb the shock of your regular activity.
Foot issues like overpronation, supination or fallen arches, can lead to altered lower limb and pelvic biomechanics which increases the risk of injury throughout the body. Over time the repetitive strain on your body from poor alignment causes not only back pain but a host of other orthopedic ailments such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Iliotibial band syndrome and more.
Insoles for neutral alignment
You May Like: How To Loosen Up Lower Back Muscles
How Do Custom Orthotics Work
Custom orthotics work to address a patients specific concerns. These devices are made from information gathered from measurements, scans, and sometimes casts of a persons feet and ankles. The specific information derived from these processes allows an orthotist to create a highly effective orthotic device.
Since custom orthotics are tailored to the individual, theyre able to help control, assist, or change the way a person moves. Orthotics will correct the way you walk to prioritize comfort and fluid motion. Some orthotics work specifically with the feet. Other more complicated orthotic devices can encompass the entirety of the leg, depending on the issues that need to be corrected. A thorough examination will determine the best orthotic device for you.
Chill It Do Orthotics Help Lower Back Pain
Ice is best in the very first 24 to two days after an injury because it lowers swelling. Despite the fact that the warmth feels excellent due to the fact that it aids hide the pain and it does aid loosen up the muscular tissues, the warm in fact irritates the inflammatory processes. After 48 hours, you can switch over to heat if you like. Whether you utilize warm or ice take it off after about 20 mins to offer your skin a remainder. If pain persists, talk with a physician.
Recommended Reading: What Doctor Do You See For Lower Back Pain
Caveat Emptor Many Orthotics Are Poorly Made And For The Wrong Reasons
Foot, ankle, knee and hip biomechanics are complex. Extremely complex. Its not rocket science its actually much harder. And gait analysis is an art as well as a science. In my opinion, non-specialists just cannot possibly navigate this maze successfully with every patient. Orthotics should not be prescribed without a thorough examination at least a half hour, and more if the case is complex.
Yet across North America and Ive seen it myself here in Vancouver you can find lab-coated charlatans hawking corrective shoe inserts in shopping malls, using flashy displays and entertaining technology to assess or scan your feet with lasers or infravision anything at all that will distract you from their lack of skill and real knowledge.
Unfortunately, many orthotics sold to consumers may not be worth more the clay the mold was made from. The effectiveness of orthotics is uncertain no matter who prescribes them, which Ill get into below. Pedorthists and orthotists two similar professions have the best chance of providing a useful prescription, because they are only professionals trained in both lower body anatomy, kinesiology, pathology and the actual fabrication of custom foot orthoses. All other professionals are obliged to order orthotics from an external supplier.
Good for her. But many professionals jump at this dodgy chance to make more money.