Flat Feet and Back Pain
While having flat feet may sound harmless enough, it can actually lead to some serious issues, including back pain. The term "flat feet" refers to a condition in which the arches of a person's feet have fallen or collapsed. In a normal foot, the tendons holding the joints of the foot together are tight, which creates an arch. In flat feet, the tendons have loosened for various reasons and almost the entire foot rests on the ground. In some people, it is hereditary; while for others, the condition can be brought on by excessive wearing of high heels, being overweight or by simple aging.
Having flat feet is a fairly common condition and is, in fact, normal for infants and toddlers, whose tendons have not yet had time to strengthen. For the most part, people who have flat feet typically do not suffer pain because of this condition. However, there are some people, especially with severe cases, who may develop back, hip or knee pain because of their flat feet.
How Flat Feet Cause Back Pain
How can flat feet cause back pain? When people with flat feet walk or run, their feet tend to roll inward with each stride to compensate for the lack of an arch. This additional motion can put stress on the knee and eventually cause you pain in your lower back.
If a person believes that his flat feet may be causing him to have back pain, he should make an appointment to see a podiatrist who can determine whether or not this condition is really the source of his problem. If the podiatrist determines that the flat feet are the cause of back pain, he can suggest different treatments, depending on the severity of the problem.
For instance, if a case isn't too severe, the podiatrist may just suggest that the patient buy a different type of shoe. There are many running shoes today that have been designed and manufactured specifically to compensate for fallen arches. In some cases, however, a person's fallen arches may need extra help, so a podiatrist may prescribe an orthotic which can be worn in the patient's shoes. These orthotics are designed to improve a patient's gait and, thus, relieve the stress that has been created on his back and joints. In some cases, especially if a patient is suffering severe back pain, a podiatrist may suggest surgery to correct the flat feet. It is always recommended you visit your podiatrist at Academy Foot and Ankle Specialists if you suspect flat feet are causing health problems.