The Surprising Cause of Back Pain

The Surprising Cause of Back Pain

Are you experiencing back pain, you don’t know why and it just won’t go away? The real problem may actually lie in your legs and feet. Seriously!

As counterintuitive as that may sound, our bodies are complex systems and connected in ways that can be difficult to discern without more advanced medical knowledge. Oftentimes when we experience pain in one area, the real issue may be originating elsewhere. 

Though it’s completely common to want to treat pain and discomfort, the tricky part about doing that is that we may only be treating symptoms of pain and not the actual problem. While it’s possible to achieve brief relief, the problem may keep cropping up because we haven’t uncovered the root cause of the issue. If you’re experiencing pain anywhere, it’s important to trace things back to the origin so you can begin treatment and rehab to achieve real results. 

The Impact of Back Pain

One of the most common job-related disabilities and the leading contributor to missed work days is lower back pain. In fact, an astounding 80% of adults report experiencing low back pain at some point in their lives. What many aren’t aware of, is that this common symptom could arise from a myriad of origins. The biomechanics of our lower backs are linked to our hips, legs, and feet. When this kinetic chain is a bit out of whack, it’s no wonder our lower back suffers. To help keep your lower back in tip-top shape, it’s best to learn to identify the different aggravators of pain.

Identifying the Origin of Your Back Pain

Do you remember that children’s song, that goes a little something like: “The leg bone’s connected to the thigh bone. The thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…” and so on? The Dem Bones song is a classic (and catchy!), but it actually does a pretty good job of explaining the way that our bodies work as a kinetic chain. Many people who have foot pain or discomfort also end up with lower back pain as a result. How?

It’s actually pretty simple when you break down the basics. If your feet, your main mode of daily transportation around the house and your workplace, are causing you discomfort, it’s natural to make small changes in the way that you walk in an effort to provide small doses of relief. You may not even realize that you’re altering your gait, but these small changes can affect the way that your knees, hips, and ultimately, lower back operate. Oftentimes a slight tilt or different angle from the foot can throw your lower back off balance. 

If foot discomfort is the cause of your lower back pain, applying ice or heat and some rest to your back may initially help your symptoms, but until you get treatment for your feet, the pain will keep returning. 

Back Pain From A Leg Length Discrepancy 

It’s rare for humans to be 100% perfectly symmetrical, so the truth is that most of us have some sort of leg length discrepancy. However, the normal discrepancy is about 1.1 cm, and this is usually not enough to cause our bodies functional and biomechanical issues. But, when leg length discrepancies surpass this normal measure, trouble can set in. 

It’s pretty easy to imagine how differing leg lengths could throw your entire lower body off-balance and manifest as stress and pain in your lower back. Different leg lengths could also indicate an abnormal tilt in your pelvis. The relation between your lower back and pelvis is a deeply connected one, so added stress from uneven pressure under the pelvis can easily throw things off-balance, causing discomfort. 

A medical practitioner can appropriately diagnose, or order the correct imaging to diagnose, a true leg length disparity. If you fall in this category, a common, fairly simple solution is to insert a heel lift into one of your shoes. This seemingly small action can be incredibly effective! The key here is understanding the exact discrepancy so that you can get a custom lift. A medical professional can help direct you to the right people to help you.

Chiropractic Treatment For Back Pain

Incorporating consistent chiropractic treatment into your routine is a good preventative health measure— imagine mitigating your pain before it starts! How so? Gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform allow your entire body to function optimally, which helps to alleviate pressure in your joints and decrease inflammation. 

Additionally, if you do have any larger issues at play, like a potential leg length discrepancy, your practitioner will be able to correctly diagnose this issue and help you on your way to a proper plan moving forward.

Finally, your practitioner may also recommend appropriate at-home exercises specific to your history to perform outside of the office. These simple exercises can help in your recovery as well as prevent related injuries. 

Get on top of your health now; schedule your chiropractic appointment online or call (714) 777-3200.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.