Treat your feet problems and you take a major step towards lower back pain relief.
The first step to a better lower back starts with the two things that you need to literally take any steps with--your own 2 feet.
According to the arthritis foundation with each and every mile you walk there is 200,000-300,000 pounds of stress impacted on your feet. By the time you are just 50 years of age you have walked 75,000 miles. It's very possible and most likely that before we take our last step on earth we have traveled 100,000 miles on our feet. That's a lot of mileage and a tremendous amount of cumulative stress that we put on our feet.
Isn't it astonishing how your body, specifically your feet, endures such a workload in your lifetime? How does it not totally breakdown? How is it able to continue, for the most part, to meet the demands and stresses you put on it?
It meets stressful demands through constant adaptation by way of repairing, remodeling and strengthening. Your body and all of its parts are in a constant state of change. At any moment in time it is doing these things - repairing, remodeling and strengthening. If it fails to do these the result will be a weakening or breakdown to some degree. When there is a breakdown in one or more body parts structurally there is a corresponding breakdown in its function. Likewise, if there is a loss of normal function there will eventually be a breakdown in a structural component as well.
Okay. Let's get down to the ground level, your feet--the foundation of your body.
The human foot consist of 26 bones and 30 joints, all held together and functioning under the control of over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. It also possesses three arches:
1. The medial arch, usually easily visible to the naked eye and the one we are familiar with.
2. The lateral arch, which runs along the outer aspect of the sole.
3. The transverse arch, that traverses across the ball of the foot, at the front of the foot and in back of the toes.
Each of these arches, along with the bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons and muscles are designed to afford proper support and flexibility. They should allow for normal pain free function throughout our lives.
Nature did not design your feet for standing and walking on hard, flat and unyielding surfaces such as concrete, wood, packed earth or even floor carpeting. Your feet were created to function on unpacked earth that gives with pressure and encourages normal stability and function of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles, and your arches.
The earth is a natural arch support and shock absorber. Just look at the foot imprint you leave in the sand when you walk on it. There is a deep indentation where your heel strikes (shock absorption), a little impression on the outer side at the midpoint (arch support) and again a deep indentation at the forefoot and toes as you push off or propel yourself forward (shock absorption).
Now, what happens when you walk on a flat, rigid and unyielding surface, such as concrete or wood floors? Your heel strikes the surface, which does not yield, causing forces to be transmitted up your body and into the knees, hips and lower back (no shock absorption). As you go into mid-stance, there is no upward support on the three arches causing them to collapse further than nature intended in order to meet the surface below (no arch support). Finally, as you toe-off there is no giving of the surface again; so forces are exerted into the toes and balls of the feet (no shock absorption).
Over-time, your joints, ligaments and arches undergo accelerated stress, or wear and tear, resulting in feet problems such as metatarsalgia, plantar fascitis, stress fractures, sprains.
Other related conditions can also develop such as: knee, hip and lower back degenerative arthritis, poor balance and coordination. The feet do not have to be painful in order to be a problem.
You visit one doctor after another for lower back pain. They do unnecessary and expensive testing, prescribe treatment that is all too often ineffective or only palliative and of short-term benefit, all-the-while, failing to address what is often the primary cause--feet problems.
Corrective and/or supportive measures need to address these feet problems, not only for the health benefits to the feet, but in order to adequately treat your lower back to the fullest extent possible. Not to do so will most likely leave you with years of unnecessary pain, dysfunction, degeneration and possibly disability.
The years of pain and suffering continue and the degenerative process goes unabated, until the damage is so extensive that lower back surgery is the sad final solution.
So what is the best solution? What steps or measures can you take that will give your feet, knees, hips and low back the proper support and permit normal function that will result in the least amount of wear and tear? What can you do to slow down the degenerative process and reduce your chances for the need of artificial joints and last resort surgeries?
You need to:
Here are two simple steps you can take to maintain and improve foot support and function and reduce excessive, abnormal wear and tear. These simple action steps can afford tremendous lower back relief and aid in healing and correction include.
1. Use proper footwear. As soon as you put these two amazing body parts into shoes you have then, from a practical point of view, made them part of your feet. The foot and the shoe now have become one unit. Invest in good, quality shoes.
2. Purchase custom-made orthotics. Your feet probably possess some degree of pronation, flatness. No shoe possesses an arch support. Therefore, custom-made orthotics are imperative.
You deserve the best so don't try to save money and in the long run and short change yourself.