To scholars of evolution, it isn’t necessarily surprising that our backs hurt. After all, we are the only known animal to stand upright, and our backs are responsible for maintaining our posture against the ceaseless force of gravity. Yet, what is surprising is that the origins of lower back pain may have less to do with our backs, and more with our feet. Dr. Howard Dananberg, a world-renowned podiatrist, believes orthotics may be our best bet for bucking back pain. The average individual walks anywhere from 2,500 to 15,000 steps a day, which can make for good exercise. However, those who have issues with their feet, such as flat-footedness or high arches, also tend to change their gait to compensate, which surprisingly, applies the most stress to the muscles of the lower back.
|Dr. Howard Dananberg
In fact, it’s not the impact (as is common in running injuries), that causes the problem, but the actual swinging of the leg that strains the musculature. Dr. Dananberg and his colleagues found that for 84% of those with end-stage (i.e. “incurable”) lower-back pain, shoe orthotics could improve or relieve their pain. Dananberg also found that those with orthotics extended their hips almost 50% more, which meant less pressure on the muscles of their lower back (and 50% less pain).
Source: Adam Barsouk, Forbes [11/11/18]
Courtesy of Barry Block, editor of PM News.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.