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How Custom Orthotics Can Relieve Back Pain

How Custom Orthotics Can Relieve Back Pain

According to the CDC, back pain affected approximately 39% of women and men in the United States in 2019. That’s about 100 million adults suffering per year. Women and older adults are most likely to experience back pain. 

Back pain causes economic pain, too. Up to 10% of workers have to quit their jobs, change their jobs, or vary their activities due to back pain. Older women and men who retire early due to back pain have about 87% less wealth than their peers who stay employed. 

When you think about easing your back pain, whether lower back pain or sciatica, you may not think about your feet. But, counterintuitively, your back pain may originate in your ankles or below.

At Apple Podiatry Group — with offices in Arlington, Flower Mound, and Fort Worth, Texas — our expert podiatrists, Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, and Rahul Bhatt, DPM, understand that your feet are the foundation for your entire body. Depending on your back pain type, they may recommend customized shoe orthotics to realign your spine and ease pain.

Should you see a podiatrist for your back pain? Read on to see how customized shoe orthotics may finally give you the relief you’ve been waiting for.

Orthotics stabilize unstable feet

If your feet — the platform your body rests on — are unstable, every portion of your anatomy above them will also be unstable. This phenomenon is known as the “kinetic chain.” Every joint in your body above the feet is considered a link in that chain.

The links go all the way up to your neck. And, yes, misaligned feet can not only cause back pain, but they can cause neck pain, too.

When your feet rotate too much when you walk, that places rotational forces on your knees. Those skewed forces pass upward through the thigh bone into your hip joints. When your hips work too hard to stabilize your legs as you take a step, your lower back muscles must work overtime.

Customized foot orthotics stabilize your feet so they don’t move or rotate unnecessarily when you walk or run. That stability cascades up the kinetic chain, too, allowing the muscles in your knees, hips, and lower back to be more relaxed.

You feel less pain without the constant tension of your back muscles working overtime to stabilize your legs and feet. Research shows that even without other supportive therapies, orthotics alone significantly improve lower back pain.

Orthotics ease the strain on your joints

Every step you take exerts tremendous force on the joints in your hips, knees, and ankles. Orthotics help absorb that force through their soft, cushiony materials (where appropriate). 

With less impact on your joints when you walk or run, they’re less likely to experience the wear and tear of osteoarthritis. Less stress on your legs means less stress on your back.

Wear orthotics in all your shoes

Whether you need orthotics for athletic shoes, leisure wear, or business attire, we can ensure that you only step outside of the house with the right, customized support. The lab can design orthotics to fit any shoe you normally wear.

Of course, we discourage using high heels or shoes with narrow-toe boxes. Poorly designed, tight-fitting, or high-heeled shoes increase your risk for further foot problems, including blisters, corns, bunions, and hammertoes.

Find out if orthotics can improve your back pain by contacting our office today by phone or online. 

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