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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Flat Feet and Lower Back Pain

Flat feet may not be a big deal for some, but research shows that persistent lower back pain may be a direct result of the shape of your foot's arch. About one in five people have lower back pain, and those who have "flat feet," or "fallen arches," are 50 percent more likely to suffer than those with normal or high arches.

So how do you know if you are flat-footed and susceptible to these aches and pains?

Here is a simple test you can perform:
  1. Wet your feet.
  2. Stand on a flat surface where your footprint will be visible, such as a concrete floor.
  3. Step away, then look at the prints. A complete imprint of the bottom of your foot indicates you have flat feet, if there is a gap or space in the middle between the toes and heel, you have more normal arches.

    Here are some causes of flat feet: 
  • an abnormality present at birth
  • stretched or torn tendons
  • broken/dislocated bones
  • arthritis
  • nerve complications
In addition to low back pain, some people may also get tired, achy, or swollen feet, along with limited range of motion in the ankle and toes. That's because people with flat feet don't have arch support so they're saddle with the full force of your body's weight every time you stand. 

To help alleviate some of this pain, try:
  • ice therapy
  • routine stretching exercises for feet or physical therapy
  • over-the-counter pain relief medications
  • orthotic devices for shoes or braces
  • injections such as corticosteroids to combat inflammation
  • limiting activities that put excessive stress on your feet, such as running on hard surfaces, or high-impact sports like basketball, hockey, soccer and tennis
  • keeping risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity in check, which can all make flat feet worse
If your foot, or lower back pain persists, contact us.

(Courtesy of WebMD)

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