Monday, March 10, 2008

Can Orthotics Banish Back Pain?

Remember the children's song, Dem Bones, about the ankle bone connecting to the shin bone, the shin bone connecting to the knee bone, etc.? Whether the anatomy lesson in the song is accurate or not, it's an important reminder that everything in your body is connected to everything else. Every part of your body in some way affects the rest of your body.

So, can orthotics/insoles eliminate back pain? Maybe. This probably isn't the answer you're looking for, but it's the honest answer. Back pain can be caused by a myriad of things, so it would be highly unusual for one thing to cure it. Orthotics are not a cure-all. Orthotics are a tool. As much as they give you comfort and support, orthotics serve as a reminder to walk and stand properly.

Do you remember my best tips for orthotics success? Feet straight, bend your knees! So how does this help your back? Keeping your knee soft (slightly bent) during your entire stride enables your hips to rotate more easily. A flexible pelvis/hip region eases the lower back muscular tension that causes so many problems for people. Bending your knees and standing with your feet straight encourages your hips to move forwards (like a dog tucking it's tail) and puts the stress of standing mostly on the large muscles of your hips and thighs rather than the smaller muscles in your lower back that exhaust easily.

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