Can Custom Foot Orthotics Help with Low Back Pain?
Custom foot orthotics is often recommended by doctors these days to treat lower back pain, especially in patients who are suffering from foot dysfunction or imbalance issues. The basic idea behind this is that foot and ankle problems can lead to misalignment as well as imbalance of the lower back, which can worsen the pain and inflammation in the lower back.
Orthotic insoles are devices that fit into the shoe to fix an irregular or asymmetrical gait by way of realigning the ankle. Although they are usually prescribed for reducing foot pain and heel problems, custom foot orthotics are also effective in dealing with lower back pain issues. Note that most of the available treatment options for lower back pain do not necessarily provide a favorable result, and for many patients, finding an efficient solution for pain relief often boils down to trial and error. This holds true for orthotic insoles as well.
The Domino Effect
When you draw an imaginary line from the shin bone or tibia to the foot of a person with normal foot arch, that line should go through the big and second toe of the person. However, in a person with a high arched foot or flat foot, the same imaginary line would go right through the big toe. That is because high arched foot and flat foot conditions make the ankle and feet to roll inward or pronate.
The body weight of a person with pronated ankles or feet shifts to the outer parts of the foot, thereby leading to a growth of painful bulges and blisters. Sometimes, pronated ankles and feet can even make the knees turn inward; this condition is generally known as knocked knees. This irregular alignment of the knees alters the angle where the pelvis and thigh bone meet, in turn leading to an uneven hip posture and destabilized spine.
The result of all this is a domino effect, which starts right at the feet of the person, working its way up to the legs, and then to the pelvis and spine. Apparently, standing upright or walking while having misaligned spine and hips can further aggravate the back pain. As using custom foot orthotics can realign the foot positioning and posture, they can help to prevent ankle and feet pronation, thereby stopping this domino effect from happening.