For most people, finding a treatment for lower back pain is a trial and error process, and the majority of people want to avoid surgery where possible. Custom orthotics could be a way to help elevate back pain without the costs and time associated with more evasive options like surgery and medications.
What are custom foot orthotics?
A custom orthotic is a specially made device to go within your shoe to improve the function of your foot and ankle. The orthotic is designed to alter the current mechanics and alignment to relieve excess stress and strain on the lower leg and foot. The orthotic is ‘custom-made’ as the shape of the orthotic is made to the precise measurements of your foot with the use of a 3D scanner and exact correction added for precisely what each of your feet needs and help restore your natural gait.
What is your natural gait?
Your natural gait is how your natural posture and your foot’s interface on the ground coincide. If either of these are out of alignment, your feet will naturally make compensations, which in the long run can lead to extras stress, and strain on parts of your body including the lower back, hips and pelvis.
There is currently not enough conclusive evidence to definitively recommend custom orthotics to completely eradicate lower back pain. However, there are mounting studies of evidence which suggest custom orthotics helps reduce twisting of the lower legs and gives support to the legs which helps align the pelvic tilt. This improved body posture and in turn, helps relieve tightness and tension in the lower back muscles.
A recent study in the United States identified characteristics of a person’s gait as contributors to chronic low back pain. Participants in the study, all suffering from low back pain, experienced a 68 per cent improvement in low back pain symptoms, after being fitted with foot orthotics.
Another study examined foot posture and function and its possible relationship with low back pain. The study included a large patient population of 1,930 subjects. It concluded that foot orthoses might have a role in the prevention and treatment of lower back pain. Because the incidence of pronated foot function (rolling in of the ankle and flattening of the medial arch) was found to be associated with low back pain—with a higher incidence in women.