Low back pain will primarily be managed by your physiotherapist, chiropractor or general practitioner. However, if they feel there may be a link between poor lower limb biomechanics and your back pain they may refer you to a biomechanical podiatrist to assess how your gait may be affecting your posture.
During normal gait, the action of repetitive supination and pronation create a shock absorbing effect and allow the foot to spring forward for the next step.
Lack of the ability to perform these motions may result in poor biomechanics and this can be the result of a fault in alignment or an injury and the foot is forced to compensate. This poor foot posture and lower limb alignment can transfer to the lower back causing pain and discomfort.
Foot and leg misalignment can also be responsible for muscle strain occurring in the back and or sciatica due to compression of the sciatic nerve.
Leg Length Difference
There are two types of leg length difference. One is structural, where the long bones in the legs are actually different lengths. The other is functional/ acquired where, as a result of repetitive activity, the person develops a postural leg length difference.
If not addressed over time both of these can permanently change foot structure as it adapts to the new position. The change in structure creates an abnormal gait pattern with possible lower back pain, hip pain, or sciatica.
All of the above can be assessed and treated by a podiatrist.
The foot, knee and hip work as one unit. Therefore, if any are behaving badly all of them can be affected in some way.
Hip joints are complex ball and socket synovial joints. Due to their wide range of motions and abilities, they require an intricate and complex array of muscles and ligaments to stabilise the joint.
Hip ailments are best managed by your sports physiotherapist, however, if the feet and legs are not working in an effective position then the pelvis may alter from a stable position, placing excessive and abnormal forces on the hips.
While alleviating nerve complaints such as sciatica is common, we place particular emphasis on preventative medicine to ensure best hip function and stability.
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