Is There a Link Between Our Feet and Lower Back Pain?

The connection between your feet and lower back is strong enough that it can have a significant impact on your quality of life. When one of them is in trouble, the other is likely to suffer. If your lower back hurts, the problem could stem from your feet, and vice versa.
Studies show that 39% of Americans live with back pain, while 36.5% suffer from lower limb pain. Understanding the relationship can help you battle both problems effectively. Partnering with the professionals at NJ Spine & Orthopedic can help you get the care you need. Let’s take a closer look at the connection and explore treatment opportunities.

How Pronation or Supination Can Affect Your Feet or Lower Back

Both excessive pronation and supination could cause lower back pain. Pronation refers to the natural movement of your foot that happens when it lands while walking or running.

Overpronation, also called flat feet, occurs when the way you walk or run causes the arches of the feet to flatten and the feet to lean inward. This unnatural position and flatness strains the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support foot arches. Besides increasing the risk of foot and leg injury, this condition could also lead to lower back pain.

Supination, also called underpronation, is the opposite of overpronation. When you run or walk, the majority of your weight falls on the outside part of your foot and forces you to push off from your outer toes. This can hurt the alignment of the entire body and cause lower back pain.

Morton’s Neuroma and Plantar Fasciitis

Any change in the way you walk could cause your lower back to hurt. That’s why even the smallest foot problem can result in a big back issue. Morton’s neuroma and plantar fasciitis don’t cause lower back pain directly. However, the change in your gait caused by these conditions can result in lower back problems.  

Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s neuroma, also called interdigital neuroma, is a thickening of the tissue around the digital nerve, which is a nerve leading from the foot to your toe. People who have this condition often feel as if there are pebbles in their shoes.

Besides the discomfort while standing or walking, Morton’s neuroma can cause a sharp and burning pain in the ball of the foot. The affected toes can also feel numb. The sensation of pebbles in the shoe or the burning pain and discomfort often cause the person to start limping or distribute the pressure unevenly among their feet. This puts pressure on the lower back and leads to pain.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by the inflammation of the fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. This tissue connects the heel bone to the toes. Around 10% of people experience plantar fasciitis in their lifetime. With the right treatment, the condition can go away quickly. However, people who don’t get proper treatment for heel spurs may experience changes in their gait, which, in turn, leads to lower back pain.

Lower Back Pain and How It Affects Your Feet

The link between these two body parts goes both ways. While foot conditions can lead to lower back pain, back problems can result in foot issues. The most common relationship between your feet and lower back problems is related to the sciatic nerve. 

The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It begins in the lower back and then splits and runs through the hips, legs, and feet on both sides. Besides controlling muscles of the back of the knee and lower legs, this nerve is responsible for providing sensation to your thighs and lower extremities.

When the sciatic nerve suffers from pressure or damage, you can develop a condition called sciatica. The common symptoms are pain in the lower back and legs as well as numbness and weakness in the foot. The causes of sciatica are commonly due to a:

The treatment methods for sciatica vary from home remedies and exercises to surgery. With timely diagnosis and correct treatment, you can address sciatica and relieve lower back pain.

Battling Foot and Lower Back Pain With NJ Spine & Orthopedic

Your back is the foundation of your entire body. When something hurts, the back can feel the consequences, which may then create issues in your feet. When it comes to the connection between the feet and lower back, the key to avoiding serious complications is a correct diagnosis followed by comprehensive treatment.

NJ Spine & Orthopedic is a team of experienced surgeons, orthopedic specialists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, and physicians. We work hard to find the root of your lower back and foot problems and design the most effective treatment that improves your quality of life. If you suffer from back and foot pain, don’t wait. Call our team of back and foot specialists today at (866) 553-0612 or fill out a simple contact form on our website.

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