Anyone else been told feet are the cause of your back pain?

I had my first meeting with a physio last week. After asking me to stand up he made me aware that my feet were splayed outwards, he asked me to straighten my feet which caused a lot of pain in my knees, down the back of my legs, my ankles and feet. He said there are problems with the bones in my feet, my arches have collapsed as well. He presumed my feet have always been this way since birth. He said that all my back, hip, knee problems stem from my feet? He said I need to start wearing this special inner sole inside my shoes to try n correct my stance.

However, i remember in my teens n twenties that I had a very high instep, my feet were not always like they are now.. I've worn mostly flat shoes for many years; would wearing flat shoes cause your arches to drop?

In the past I have suffered with slipped discs, sciatica, hip and knee problems. Interested to hear if anyone else has been been advised that their feet are to blame for their muscular skeletal problems.

11 Replies

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  • Hi Margaret, Sorry to hear you are suffering with your back, hips & knees with what I can imagine excruciating pain? :( Yes I too went to see a Specialist who referred me to a Podiatrist for my feet! This puzzled me too. Until I saw her, she told me I had exactly the same, dropped arches in both feet, attributing to my back, hip, knee pains! Also my Gait was off too? She prescribed "Insoles" for my shoes which has helped a little!

    I have always worn heals, until my Discs slipped in my Spine a good few years ago (I have many other Pain Syndromes too!).

    Has your Physio suggested referring you to see a Podiatrist for your feet, as they have lots of knowledge of posture, gait ect. that I hope maybe able to help you?

    Wishing you every blessing & hope you can find a solution to help you asap!

    Sending you positive, healing & comforting vibes.

    God Bless

    Lynn XX :)

  • I too stopped wearing heels after suffering a few slipped discs in my twenties. I was so puzzled when he suggested my feet were to blame for my muscular skeletal problems. When he was trying to explain things to me I had great difficulty in accepting what he said. However, upon reflection I guess it kind of makes sense that if you're not standing/walking correctly, in time it would have an adverse effect upon your body.

    My physio advised me that It would take a few months for a referral to see a podiatrist, then I'd have to wait longer still to get the support inner soles. so I agreed to order them directly from physio online and pay for them myself. They arrived today, they won't fit into my normal shoes as they are too narrow, they only fit into a pair of trainers, they feel weird at the moment, not very comfortable. My physio said he can help me without referring me on to a podiatrist. Do you think seeing a podiatrist would be beneficial?

    Many Thanks for your response Betty, at least i know I'm not the only one.

  • Hi Margaret,

    Thank you for your reply. I would most definitely advise you to wait to see the Podiatrist, so glad I did! Thankfully I did"nt have to wait as long as anticipated and was seen within a couple of weeks!

    They are the Professionals & in my humble opinion I don"t think they receive enough credit for their in-valuable advise!

    I too bought "In-souls" On-line before seeing the Podiatrist. Trust me there is a vast difference between the two! She had me waking away from her & towards her so she could see my "Gait" & Posture. I was also asked on the Letter to take a pair of the shoes I wore the most of, odd I thought?! but they can tell by the souls of your shoes the different parts of Pressure of wear by the bottom of your shoe, whether turning out or in it does"nt have to be visible to the naked untrained eye! She measured both feet individually as we are aware not both of our feet are not identical! She ordered me "Bespoke" In-soles for me & I was pleasantly surprised they arrived within a month! She sent for me, fitted them, had to shave just a tiny bit off the right foot (my right side is far worse for pain!), had me walking in them until I found them comfortable enough before leaving her Office. Also once you are under the Care of Podiatrist you can see her/him again for new In-soles or any new problems? I also had a 6 week follow-up Appointment with her to see how I was getting on with them!

    I also found my Physio a great help, she offered me an 8 week course of Acupuncture in my right hip! I was rather reluctant @ first but was in so much pain @ the time was willing to try any thing! The Acupuncture helped me immensely! It did"nt hurt just a little uncomfortable @ first! In fact I have had 3 lots of Separate Sessions & would most definitely recommend it if you have severe hip pain?

    I am also under care of Rheumatologist for Pain Conditions, she gave me an Steroid Injection in my right hip for Bursitis (she told me can be related to back pain). This was a tremendous help for my hip & back. I have since had 5 Injections over the years! You don"t have to be under care of Rheumatologist for Steroid Injection, your regular Consultant for your spine can give this to you?

    I too like you have tried almost everything over the years to relieve my back pain but the above combination has worked for me considerably!

    I don"t know if you have ever been to a Pain Management Clinic but I found this to be of particular help to me also? I must have tried all the Pain relievers there are! I spent 6 weeks in hospital on Traction years ago, like yourself unfortunately did"nt help me @ all!

    I am also on "Pain Patches", you can cut them put them directly where pain is the worse, also no horrid side effects, like Oralmorph feeling woozy or spaced out, once they are on take effect immediately & I don"t have to worry about replacing them for 12 hours! You can only wear them for 12 hour period but the relief is of great benefit to me!! I know what suits one does"nt suit everyone!

    I apologise for such a long Post of reply but I can identify with your predicament like a "Mirror-image!".

    If you would like to ask me any further questions or if I could be of any help or support to you, please do not hesitate to PM me on Site, where I find it easier to ask questions? Also I have found it to be more Private and you can take more time to discuss different matters, one to one?

    I wish you the very best of Luck Margaret & hope you can find a solution with the Podiatrist to help you with the extreme pain you suffer with Slipped Discs! I don"t think anyone can relate to just how painful/debilitating they can be unless they have walked (limped!) a Mile in our Shoes?!!!! I can totally empathise/sympathise with you!

    Lovely to meet you Margaret.

    Take care.

    Sending you positive, healing, comforting vibes.

    Best wishes

    Lynn X :)

  • Thanks for your advice Lynn, i will definitely ask my doctor for a referral to a podiatrist. I attended a pain clinic many, many years ago, but to be honest It didn't help me much. My pain level isn't too bad at the moment, it's under control, I'm using a heat pad, tens machine and take tramadol and a muscle relaxant at night.

    I used the patches when my hip pain was at its worst, they are really good. Like you, I've had the steroid injections into my spine and my hip, the one in the hip was the most painful, I nearly jumped off the table.

    I really appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. I think it's good to find someone undergoing the same symptoms, you don't feel so alone. My family are really good, but if you've never experienced the pain of someone else, how can u really understand what they're going through. Many thanks Lynn, take good care of yourself and I hope u find some respite from your pain.

  • Bless you Margaret for your lovely reply, very much appreciated. I am so pleased for you that your pain is under control or @ least manageable for you!

    Also pleased you took advise re Podiatrist, I promise you won!t regret it!

    I am having an Injection in my Hip, this Thursday for Bursitis Pain! Yes they are very painful but the pain I am in now I will welcome the Steroid Injection, as I can"t even walk @ the moment, having to use my Wheelchair which I really hate! Although very grateful for it as I would"nt be able to get to the Hospitals without it!

    Yes it is lovely to have someone who you can identify with same or similar problems, it does make you feel as if you are not alone!

    Lovely to have met you :) & hope to "speak" to you again sometime?

    Good Luck with Podiatrist Appointment, please let me know how you get on?

    Many blessings

    Lynn X

  • Hi Lynn. I saw your post and can empathise with everything you have said. Did you get referred on the NHS. Years ago I was referred to a podiatrist who just put cardboard and foam under the insoles of my shoes. I was only referred as I had bunion surgery through the hospital. More recently I have been to see a podiatits surgeion who says I need my right foot fused. However the pain through both my feet ankles and legs is indescribable . I need some help with my flat feet. I can go to a private podiatrist but it's knowing who? Did your GP refer you?

  • Hi Sky, Thanks for your reply. I am sorry to hear you are suffering so much with insidious pain, that comes with your condition! I have Fibro/ME/CFS & EDS (rare incurable pain condition). So I sympathise how pain debilitates your life!

    Yes I was referred on the NHS to a Podiatrist via my GP. I am very grateful to have a very understanding/empathetic GP. I did some Research on the Net to see which was one of the best Podiatrist in my area (although I still had to travel hours drive to the hospital where she worked out of).

    I am sure if you ask your GP for a Referral to a Podiatrist on the NHS, maybe he/she could recommend a good one, I told mine I did"nt mind if I had to travel out of area to be seen. My GP also sent mine as "Urgent Case" & thankfully I was seen relatively quickly!

    I hope you can get things sorted to eliviate your pain & discomfort asap?!

    Good Luck!

    Sending you positive healing, comforting vibes.

    Best wishes Lynn X

  • It can be one of those chicken and egg situations, but its definitely worth trying to get your feet right in the hope of putting your back into a better alignment. If that doesn't work, then ask the physio whether it could be the other way around -that your back problems are causing the problem with your feet.

  • Interesting comment Earthwitch.

    My feet used to have a really high instep when I was younger and fitter. My feet have been aching for a long time but I just thought it was my shoes and being on my feet a lot.. We woman don't always wear sensible footwear and suffer because of it.

    My back problems started when I was only 17 ; im now 60. For many years I was continualy in an out of hospital or receiving physio treatments like traction, spinal. injections etc, I had been stable for at least 15 years until 7 weeks ago when it all kicked off again.

    As you said, my back could possibly be the cause of my feet problems. When you have a back problem you don't walk normally as you're trying to protect the part that hurts the most. Thanks for your response.

  • Not been told my feet are the cause of my problem even though they are. But do recall a doctor suggesting my leg pain was coming from my back, and have heard others saying similar things have been said to them. I accept that problems in one joint may cause problems in another area of the body due to incorrect posture I would think . Just thought I would let you know Margaret54 that you are not alone with this type of suggestion from physio or doctors. Have a good day xx

  • When I first started getting pain down my leg my doctor said it was coming from my back. I remember I kept saying to him " the pain's down my leg, not my back". Eventually I did come to realise that the initial cause was originating from disc problems in my back. Sciatica pain is horrendous and can really incapacitate you. Thanks for your response Katie, I hope you find some relief from your pain.

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