Surprising causes of back pain

Surprising causes of back pain

Could the wrong shoes be causing a backache? Maybe. Experts say back pain can have many causes, some originating in the spine itself. But other cases of back pain may result from problems in the feet, knees, or hips.

Back pain is common. About 80 percent of us are going to suffer from it at some point. Tracking down the source of the problem is a key to getting relief.

When feet are the problem

If you have low arches, or “flat feet,” your feet will turn inward when you walk or run. This is called hyper-pronation and can cause your leg to turn inward as well, affecting the alignment of your body all the way up to your back.

The opposite problem, called hyper-supination, can occur when your feet turn outward as you walk or run.

Wearing special insoles and shoes with good cushioning may help correct problems with hyper-pronation or hyper-supination.

High heels can also interfere with the proper alignment of your spine, causing back pain. If your heels are more than 2 inches high and your back is hurting, it may be time to trade them in for some more practical footwear.

How knee issues cause problems

If you’re having knee pain, chances are that you’re favoring your bad knee by putting more weight on your good knee when you move. Even a subtle limp can cause changes in the way the rest of your body moves—causing awkward movements and pressure on joints all the way up to your spine and down to your feet. 

When tight hip flexors are to blame

Sometimes just sitting too much can cause back problems. That’s because when we sit, our hip flexors—a group of muscles that runs from your thighs to your lower back—are in a constant state of contraction. 

If these muscles are too tight or too weak from long days at the office, that can lead to lower back pain. Doing regular stretches of these muscles can help support your back.

How to correct the problem

If you’ve developed back pain, it’s important to share with your doctor any other problems you may be having and discuss the role your lifestyle may play. Have you recently started running? Are you spending extra hours hunched over a desk? Is anything else hurting?

To really treat your back pain, you may need a whole body plan that includes making sure you’re wearing the right shoes and stretching and strengthening your body from head to toe. Sometimes a referral to a physical therapist or a podiatrist (an expert in foot problems) may be needed to get you on the right track.

If back pain is keeping you from doing the things you want, schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With multiple locations across the state of Utah, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to. To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

©Southwest Spine and Pain Center, 2018