Low Back Pain And Your Feet

What’s the connection? Personally I have just had 5 days of hell and bed rest, interspersed with sessions at the physiotherapist, to help with my back that I injured moving a lightweight box last Thursday. Heavy boxes and furniture were no problem, but on Thursday I bent forward and sideways and damaged my right side sacro-iliac ligament pulling a small lightweight box out of the way. Bed rest, some exercises and Voltaren injections seem to have fixed it, so back to the practice tommorrow.

Walking upright is still difficult, but is much better in a supportive shoe. Apparently the muscle spasm was so bad that my pelvis was being pulled out of alignment. At last I have experience of why we all need to keep ‘Back Fit’ and not let those once rippling abs! hang over our pants. My abs never rippled (Look at rapper Usher for great abs!), but neither do they hang loose, but they are very weak compared to what my physio wants for the future. Walking in my new crocs is fine but I do feel my toes clawing, so barefoot around the house is OK, but my trainers give the best support. For work it will be a firm formal shoe as in the afternoon I am going to the 1st Annual Podiatric Awards Function at the University of Johannesburg.

So please watch out as you hitch your caravan/boat or children! to the car for the summer vacation. Feet well planted on the ground and turn fully to face whatever your are going to lift, with back straight and knees bent. Leaning over is best for pool or snooker, but watch out! Gait analysis and posture checks are what most podiatrists can provide and in conjunction with physiotherapeutic exercises are so important. Leg length imbalances are another contributing factor to back ‘stress’ as is overweight, so after the holidays pay your podiatris a visit to get your feet and body into good shape for 2008. 


Andrew has taught at the University as well as providing podiatry services in South Africa since 1977. Twice chair of the Podiatry Association of South Africa and a commentator on care of your feet on both radio and television he now works in private practice in Cape Town and Hout Bay.

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