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What is low back pain?

Back pain that is related to lower limb mechanics typically produces pain in the lower back but can also be felt in the upper back and or shoulder.

There are two categories of back pain:

Specific back pain:

Caused by a specific cause. An example of this is trauma or a pre-existing medical condition that has occurred to the back or spine. 


Non-specific back pain:

This can be caused by either a muscle tightness, strain, joint sprain, or nerve irritation. This is the category that poor foot mechanics and lower limb function fall into.

What causes back pain?

Back pain can be caused in a number of different ways. An example we have often seen in the clinic is caused by a mechanical overload due to the way you are standing, walking, or running, causing the body to not work as it should, which in turn can lead to strain on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the back. 


A common example of this is if one foot pronates (or is flatter than the other). This causes one leg to become shorter and with the collapse of the arch, makes the knee turn in and the pelvis on that side come forward. This can then cause an abnormal back alignment when squatting, bending, or moving to cause increased pressure and stress on the above structures. 


Similarly, if this is occurring on both sides (ie both feet are flat) this can cause the knees to come inwards and result in the pelvis tilting forwards which changes the curvature of the spine which can also lead to pain. 

Orthoses and shoe inserts can help this problem by improving the position of the foot which improves the position of the pelvis and curvature of the spinal further up. 


Signs and symptoms of back pain?

  • Pain

  • Aching

  • Tightness in the back

  • Muscle spasms

  • The pain of standing for long periods

How is back pain diagnosed?

In a biomechanical assessment, we will firstly take a detailed history and assess how your body moves from the ground up. This includes checking joint ranges, muscle strengths, and lengths, movement analysis including squatting and bending, etc, and performing functional tests to observe deficits in movement patterns.


The following benefits may be achieved through podiatric assessment and management: 

  • Reduction in pain

  • Reduction in inflammation

  • Improvement in posture and movement patterns

  • Reduction in muscle tightness

  • Improvement muscle strength 

  • Improvement in gait and timings of gait

The different treatment options will be discussed and a treatment plan will be outlined to you. We strive to educate the patient and provide them with the tools to stay injury-free. 


If you would like to book an appointment please click the link or call us on 01748883069

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