Believe it or not, a pain in the rear is often caused by problems with the feet! The average person walks approximately 2000 miles per year. That’s a lot of foot-mileage! Your feet support the weight of your entire body and the way the contact the ground directly affects how your back absorbs compression of the spine. It’s little wonder that people develop conditions in their feet and that the end result is back pain.
Flat foot is an example of a foot condition that can cause pain to the lower back. Flat foot happens when one or both feet have abnormal arches. When a person with flat foot stands, their inner foot or arch flattens, and the foot may roll too far towards the instep. This condition results in decreased hip and knee stability and abnormal motion, which can contribute to increased and unnecessary strain on the back.
Plantar fasciitis is another foot condition that may contribute to back pain. It consists of inflammation of the sole of the foot. It results in an involuntary change to the foot’s mechanics. The knee bone being connected to the hip bone (if you remember the children’s song) is the domino effect that Plantar Faciitis causes, and so it can lead to knee, hip and back pain when left untreated.
A sports medicine physician is qualified to find the root and cause of back pain, and should be regarded as an essential part of your seeking relief. This consultation offers you education as to the many causes of back pain, which is the first step in creating your comprehensive medical diagnosis for the treatment of it. And if it turns out that your back pain is caused by a foot condition such as flat foot or plantar fasciitis, the remedy may be simple AND effective: custom foot orthotics.
Many people wonder if they work. Those with custom foot orthotics are a good resource for verifying these claims. But not all orthotics are created equal. Over the counter foot orthotics are popular because they are inexpensive and available right there on the shelves of most drug stores. But bear in mind that they can be less effective than custom foot orthotics.
The big difference is the “custom” component of foot orthotic selection. How could an over the counter orthotic possibly compete with a custom one? The whole point of orthotics is to offer correction to weak or inadequate foot function/support. The over the counter models may offer comfort and cushioning for the foot, but since everybody’s feet and body are different, a custom-made foot orthotic to realign your posture (and correct your particular overall misalignment) may be superior for offering back pain relief. Custom foot orthotics will provide accurate, measured and proper support for the arch, feet, and legs. In turn, everything from the spine to feet will be in a better position to function throughout the day.
Still, not everyone with flat foot or plantar fasciitis is a candidate for a custom foot orthotic.
Sports therapy clinics offer both remedies and consultation in this regard as they routinely work with back pain sufferers and sports medicine physicians to diagnose and treat the root cause of back pain. In cases where back pain is being caused by feet, the treatment might well include custom foot orthotics, if the cause of back pain traces back to issues with the knees, hip or back, sports therapy clinics can also treat those issues. And if your treatment plan requires a combination of custom foot orthotics, physiotherapy and medication, a sports therapy clinic is your one stop shop for all of these.
For more information about custom foot orthotics for treating back pain please call 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesm.ca
To operate or not to operate…that is the question, literally. While not quite a line out of Shakespeare it’s certainly a line out of the life of a true ACL injury sufferer. ACL knee injuries are serious and usually accompanied by considerable pain. ACL injuries can happen during sports, motor vehicle accidents, at even home or work. The ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is a small ligament that sits deep within the joint located behind the knee cap. While very small, when torn it can cause significant pain and loss of mobility.
ACL knee injuries may require any one of a variety of surgical procedures. There are also several non-surgical treatment options. The plan that ends up being best for you depends on the nature and severity of the tear. Age and lifestyle will also affect your ultimate choice of treatment method. This important decision should be made by you in consultation with your sports medicine physician.
Whether you opt for or against ACL knee surgery, an experienced sports therapy clinic will be essential to your full recovery. Progressive physiotherapy and rehabilitation can restore the knee to a state close to where it was before the torn ACL. A custom knee brace is also imperative when treating a torn ACL – with or without surgery – to help stabilize it during recovery.
A good sports therapy clinic will offer education and a treatment plan that will reduce the likelihood of recurring injury. But since non-surgical treatment options come with no guarantees after time spent trying to nurse an injury back, many people go for surgery to avoid possible relapses of instability of the knee. Your team of sports therapy clinic professionals will have valuable input to guide you in knowing which decision is right for you.
Generally speaking, people may choose a non-surgical solution for repairing a torn ACL for circumstances when:
- It is exclusively the ACL that is injured (that is, that the ACL injury is not combined with other injuries in the knee);
- The tear is partial and no instability symptoms are present;
- The individual does not live a physically demanding lifestyle or have a physically demanding job.
The main motivation for having ACL knee surgery is that the procedure prevents future instability. By restoring the knee’s stability, athletes can resume their participation in their sports, and often, much sooner.
ACL knee surgery often involves replacing the ACL with a substitute graft made of tendon taken from somewhere in the patient’s body. This process is called autograft so you could be looking at patellar tendon autograft, or hamstring tendon autograft.
Active, athletic adults or those with a physically demanding job are generally the best candidates for ACL knee surgery. The elderly generally are better to avoid it. For those having surgery, rehabilitative therapy should begin before surgery, to make the postoperative recovery easier, and also about 10 days after surgery.
Working with an experienced physiotherapy clinic will ensure reduction of swelling in the knee, as well as improve mobility, prevent anterior knee problems and eventually restore the joint’s full range of motion.
If you have suffered an ACL knee injury and would like more information about your surgical and non-surgical options, please call 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesm.ca
Did you know that millions of North Americans suffer from a painful foot condition called Plantar Fasciitis? This pain-found on the bottom of the heel – is a figurative pain in the neck, and people of all ages can develop it.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis can include physical therapy, injections, splinting, shock wave therapy, surgery, and custom foot orthotics. The severity of one’s condition usually guides them towards the best treatment option as will their lifestyle, their comfort level and their personal goals for rehabilitation.
Surgery is the most drastic option and should only be considered once all the others have been exhausted. Plantar Fasciitis surgery may carry risks that include rupture of the plantar fascia, infection, and/or nerve injury that results in numbness in the region. There are also additional complications that may emerge post-surgery. For instance, if the plantar fascia is released too much during the procedure, the arch of the foot might be reduced. In addition, some people still suffer from symptoms and pain related to Plantar Fasciitis after their surgery is performed. A sports medicine physician will be instrumental in determining the best course of treatment. As they will be very familiar with Plantar Fasciitis treatment, they can acquaint you with the full range of treatment options outside of surgery.
This type of physician may describe options like anti-inflammatory medications, night splints, cortisone injections and shock wave therapy as examples of commonly used non-surgical options.
One extremely simple method of treating Plantar Fasciitis is to wear custom foot orthotics. Unlike over-the-counter-orthotics, custom foot orthotics are custom designed to fit each of the specific individual’s feet. This presents many benefits:
- First, custom foot orthotics stabilize each foot, thanks to strategically built structure, they’re like cradles for your feet! And when the foot is stabilized and returns to its optimal alignment, the abnormal pull on the plantar fascia is relieved and can (finally) begin to heal. As the plantar fascia heals, the pain and inflammation begin to dissipate. Sounds pretty good eh? Guess what, there’s even more….
- The support of the arch that a custom foot orthotic offers provides the exact amount of arch support each foot needs. When the arch is supported it creates the opportunity for the plantar fascia healing to begin. A tired arch is a fast track to Plantar Fascia pain. A soothed arch is your best friend.
- Custom foot orthotics will absorb shock to the plantar fascia, cushioning the arch, feet (and heels) and, as a result, your entire body. This significantly reduces weight on the foot and restores the plantar fascia and arch to a healthy and pain free condition. This requires a cutout at the heel, to soften the orthotic and provide adequate cushioning. Most off the shelf arch supports are not built like this.
Understandably, many people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis are able to make a complete recovery using custom foot orthotics.
Why procrastinate? If you have any suspicion you may have Plantar Fasciitis, seeking medical attention as soon as symptoms appear may spare you prolonged pain and a limitation of your activity? Sharp pain in the heel, particularly in the morning or after a period of rest, is one of the common symptoms you’d be wise to seek medical attention for. It is always easier to solve a problem you catch early. Remember, “A stitch in time
For more information about treatment for Plantar Fasciitis including non-surgical treatments and custom foot orthotics please call 416-800-0800 or visit www.aesm.ca