Foot Balance
Proper Footwear Needed For Lower Back Pain

To develop lower back balance and stability, foot balance and foot stability are essential. You have no choice but to walk and stand on rigid and unyielding surfaces. So...

You must try to promote and stimulate proper foot balance, stability and function. You can do that by choosing good, quality shoes that offer the design that is most conducive to normal function and is structurally engineered to give the best support and protection.

Barefoot Benefits

I once visited an Amish farm market in Pennsylvania and noticed that all of the children and young adults were barefoot. They walked about on the ground with no signs of discomfort as they stepped on stones, dirt and gravel of all shapes, sizes and surfaces. Upon closer examination, it was obvious that they had very thick soles, particularly their heels and forefoot.

They had adapted just as nature intended them to do. They had developed natural shock absorbers. Plus, not a one was over-weight.

I have trouble walking on any surface in my bare feet without jumping about and trying to avoid any piece of stone or dirt no matter how small or smooth it is. It is quite comical to observe me jumping with each step and hearing my "ouches" and "oohs"

Now, I am not suggesting that we all go barefoot. Our lifestyles are such that this is not practical or safe. Besides, it just would not appear right to see the president of the United States giving a state of the union address in a suit and barefoot.

Custom-Made Orthotics Aid Balance

When you put shoes on they then become an extension of your feet. They are now part of you. They also become a walking surface. They need to give support and allow for proper function just as if you were walking on unpacked earth or sand. The only way to do that, with any shoe, is with custom-built arch supports (orthotics). These can be inserted into any shoe after you remove the factory insoles. This is important to repeat...

You must remove any factory insoles that were in the shoes prior to inserting your custom built orthotics.

There are many styles and types of orthotics. Do not buy an off-the-shelf orthotic. Remember every size 9 is shaped different. A size 9 orthotic off the shelf of your local drugstore or mart will most likely not be what you need, even if you wear a size 9.

You need a custom-made orthotic that is constructed for your feet and your feet only. These custom-made orthotics not only come in different sizes but they take into consideration the abnormal function of each foot that has developed or what is inherent to you.

They must be flexible or semi-rigid. Do not buy hard plastic molded orthotics.

These hard, rigid orthotics do not allow for shock absorption. What they will do is transmit the shock up to the knees, hips and lower back. They do not allow for normal flexibilty but instead hold the foot in a rigid, non-functioning position.

Foot Balance and Stability Tips

Some important points to remember:

  • Maintain proper weight.
  • Wear proper shoes.
  • Purchase quality custom-made orthotics.
  • Have rubber heel pads applied to the outside of your heels at the time of purchase and before you start wearing your shoes.
  • Walk on progressively more uneven surfaces. Start with walking on the lawn with shoes. After a couple of weeks doing this start walking on your lawn without shoes. Then progress to walking on soft earth without shoes. Finally, graduate to walking on loose sand without shoes. This will build strength, stability and flexibility just as nature intended and you will have a stronger low back as well.

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