The Cause of Lower Back Pain May Stem from Your Ankles

The cause of your lower back pain may surprise you. Lower back pain can emanate from many places, including your legs, ankles and feet. It may seem odd to many but your ankles can be one of the causes of your prolonged backpain.  Just think for a moment: Most of us, even those living sedentary lives, take thousands of steps each day.  Improper mechanics can lead to greater muscle fatigue.  Muscle fatigue in turn can change our walking pattern or “gait” and eventually create spinal irregularities.  

The first step each individual needs to take in reducing and managing pain is to properly identify the source.  Set up an appointment for a consultation with one of our highly-trained clinicians and we can be your partner in improving your well-being.

Tips for Avoiding the Cause of Lower Back Pain:

Replace old shoes – “You can’t go cheap on shoes or a mattress” It may seem like advice from your grandmother, but she knows what she is talking about.  In fact, most experts agree shoes should be replaced between 300-500 miles. So those old walking shoes in the back of the closet, toss ‘em, they could be detrimental to your back.

Use Proper Mechanics — Everyone’s walk is unique to them and their body type.  We can all get a bit lazy and fall into bad habits, however.  Be more mindful of the techniques below and you may start to notice an improvement in back pain over time. The cause of lower back pain can be minimized by following these steps.

  • Shorter steps– Whether walking or jogging, decreasing the length between strides puts less compression on the nerve endings and spinal discs.  This will slow your pace, but recovery, like life doesn’t have to be a sprint. Remember: you don’t have to train with the intensity of an Olympic athlete.  Your priority should be long-term health and wellbeing. 
  • Area of impact – You should attempt to land between the mid-foot and heal.  Roll onto your toes and push off for the next stride.  Landing on the toes themselves and lead to an awkward stride and place additional pressure on the discs.
  • Engage abdominal muscles – You walk with your entire body, not just your ankles or feet.  The tightening of core muscles allows you better to maneuver and transfer the weight of impact from one area of the body to another.  Therefore, the impact and stress can be distributed throughout the body evenly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Any sudden weight gain (even if it’s muscle) can alter your gait because you are placing more strain on your ankles.  In order to compensate you may shift to an awkward stance and gait without even noticing it.

Surface Conditions: Reduce Pain Stemming from the Ankles

Surfaces with no give like concrete, asphalt, or even a mall floor are not the best options.  Consider a rubberized track if you have access to one or a treadmill that is designed to give some slack and absorb the impact. This is often the cause of lower back pain.

What to do When Experiencing Lower Back Pain

First thing’s first, stop your activity if you are experiencing lower back pain that may stem from the ankles.  If you experience a pinching sensation near a nerve, have leg cramps, tingling or numbness seek medical attention and the long-term care of a chiropractor.  

Pain and Injury Clinic of Utah work with you every step of the way until you are pain free and enjoying all of your outdoor activities.