flat feet can cause low back painA new study released by the medical journal Rheumatology suggests that women with flat feet are 50% more likely to experience low back pain. Among 1,930 men and women recruited from Framingham, Massachusetts, pronated feet which tend to roll inward as a person walks - were linked to lower back pain in women only.

Why do only women get low back pain from flat feet?

Researchers noted that women's pelvic bones are wider and not as flexible as men's. In general, women rotate their hips more than men while walking. Women also move their upper bodies more than men when they walk.

This study validates a lot of what I’ve seen in our Seattle podiatry practice. For example,  it’s common for me to see other physical problems in the rest of the body, particularly low back pain when the patient’s foot mechanics (flat feet and other problems) are not what they should be. One of the tools used in the study was a Tekscan to measure the pressure points in the foot while walking. We also use this instrument to diagnose how our patients are walking.  

Patients who have flat feet and come to our podiatry office, usually are experiencing pain not only in their low back but also in their feet which is most often heel pain.

We take a comprehensive approach to resolving both heel pain and low back pain. Oftentimes heel pain in patients with flat feet will require custom orthotics to support the arch.  But in addition to providing them with a long-term solution, we also work in conjunction with physical therapists to improve their back pain and other problems caused by their flat feet.

If you have flat feet, low back pain, and heel pain, don’t wait any longer to do something about it. The solution is likely just a phone call away.  If you live in Seattle, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online and we will get you in as quickly as possible.

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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