Back pain: Adrenal fatigue, feet pain and knee pain.. what we do not get told!

Having internet connection today I thought I would make the most of it.

This complex condition which brings us all here, to this Heaven-sent site, is as big as the Universe itself.

I have come to the conclusion, however absurd it may seem to some, that pretty much everything to do with our health, from the most obscure of aspects, will ultimately be connected to the Endocrine System, which really is 'The Final Frontier'.

After 3 years of complaining about foot pain I tactfully suggested to an alternate GP that maybe I had planta fasciitis...he tentatively agrees and is sending me to see a Foot specialist...HHhmmmmm...

Very briefly, and here is the clue, my issues lie in severe adrenal fatigue for which thankfully I am being treated at long last.

It has been a long journey.

For almost the last 3 years I have had very bad pain in my feet.

I mention it to my Dr and get nowhere.

I also have great sensitivity around my knees, at the top of my shins.

This means nothing again..

This summer I developed back pain that I thought would be the end of me- finally..the end.

And then I found this article on the web; for those who have connection problems or who cannot with ease connect to a link, I have cut and pasted it here as it may help some folk who know they have adrenal fatigue as much as those who do not, but who may begin to suspect it after reading.

This is the linK:

This is part of the article:

Lower Back Pain and Your Adrenal Glands – A Common Connection

by drgangemi on December 12, 2008

Lower back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and the leading contributor to missed work. It is second to headaches in the realm of neurological disorders. The lower back may be painful due to a bulging disc, an injured/pulled muscle, arthritis, or even a problem from elsewhere in the body – such as the foot or knee, referring pain to the lower back. Just in the United States alone, low back pain suffers spend over 50 billion dollars a year diagnosing this pain via X-Ray, CT scans, MRIs, and other studies, and then treating this pain thru either natural methods such as chiropractic or acupuncture, or more extreme methods via painkillers, anti-inflammatory medications, and surgery. There are many reasons for low back pain, too many to discuss in just one article, but a very common and overlooked problem resulting in lower back pain is that of adrenal gland stress.

Your adrenal glands are those little walnut-sized endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys. And for being so little they pack quite a punch. Most think of them when it comes to adrenalin, as this is where it is made, however they are also responsible for the production of cortisol, (to help balance blood sugar and fight inflammation), sex hormones, (DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone), and aldosterone, which is needed to balance electrolytes (sodium-potassium) in the body. Your adrenal glands are your first line of defense when it comes to stress. Under stress, cortisol levels are secreted in massive amounts, and DHEA, sometimes referred to as the longevity hormone, is suppressed. Over prolonged periods of stress your adrenals can become so fatigued that they will make very little of the hormones intended. The medical authority doesn’t recognize the adrenal glands from a functional standpoint – only from a pathological perspective. Addison’s Disease is when the production of the hormones has ceased and Cushing’s Syndrome is diagnosed when cortisol levels are extremely elevated. However, many people have a functional adrenal gland problem, meaning their hormones are not working optimally. Basically, if a person is under stress, the adrenal glands will be affected; though this is not always a bad thing as it is a natural and actually healthy response to make stress hormones when under stress. However, under heavy amounts and prolonged stress, the adrenal glands will suffer. If you’re thinking that most everybody has some sort of adrenal gland stress, you’re absolutely correct.

Since the adrenal glands are the first to react to stress, they are often the first of the endocrine glands to wear down. Prolonged stress will often result in insulin problems as the pancreas and adrenals share the workload to balance blood sugar levels. This will result in blood sugar handling problems and over time, even Type II Diabetes. A thyroid disorder will often be the secondary problem of adrenal gland stress, even though in society it is often thought of as the primary problem after discovered following some routine blood work, and there are numerous pharmaceuticals to address the thyroid readily available. Low testosterone levels in men and low progesterone levels in women often accompany further adrenal gland stress, leading to a low sex-drive, weight gain, and PMS in women

Your adrenal glands will give you warning signs that they are under stress long before they give up on you. Here are some common signs and symptoms that your adrenal glands are stressed:

•Bright lights bother your eyes (need to wear sunglasses even on a cloudy day)

•You get dizzy when you stand up or change positions quickly

•Headaches across the forehead, over or behind the eyes

•Your eyelids twitch

•Your body jumps or twitches as you’re falling asleep

•Tired feet at the end of the day or pain in the heel (plantar fasciitis)


The muscles supporting much of the lower back (as well as the feet & knees) are related to the adrenal glands. The hamstrings, which span the back of the pelvis down past the knee, the gracilis, commonly known as the “groin” muscle attaching to the inside of the pelvis, and the sartorius, which is the longest muscle in the body going from the top of the pelvis down and across to the inside of the knee, all are related to the adrenal glands and provide major support to the pelvis and lower back. When the adrenal glands are under more stress than they can handle, whether from lack of sleep, a poor diet (too much caffeine, for example), emotional or physical stress, or various other issues, these muscles will directly be affected and the support to the lower back will be lost. Once the muscles no longer support the area, you’re a prime candidate for an easy injury as the normal biomechanics are lost. If you ever wonder why someone suddenly “throws their back out” or wakes up with a mysterious low back ache, often it is because of an adrenal gland problem. The muscle imbalances are often there long before the symptoms occur, with few exceptions such as with a traumatic injury.

Since many of these adrenal-type muscles connect the pelvis to the knee, you can see why knee and inner thigh problems are also very often adrenal related. The two most common I see are groin pulls and medial meniscus and/or medial collateral (MCL) tears. This is because the three main muscles that attach to just below the inside of the knee all have a strong relationship with the adrenal glands. So when these muscles don’t do their job, the meniscus and MCL have a massive amount of stress put on them. Additionally, the pelvis will torque, the sacrum will misalign, and you’re an accident waiting to happen.

The muscles of the calf and feet are also related to the adrenal glands. Those tired feet, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and burning claves are often due to adrenal gland fatigue. These muscle support the normal arch of the foot, and that allows a person to naturally pronate when they walk/run. Pronation is very important – it is the primary way your body absorbs shock upon impact. If the muscles are fatigued, the arch will weaken and pronation will be lost. Once the foot cannot pronate correctly, the stress of impact will be transferred up to the knee and ultimately the lower back.


I hope this will have been interesting reading for some.

Poppy the Cat

14 Replies

  • Very interesting. I started having very bad lower back problems in my 30s (now in my 60s). Since being treated by Dr. P. since 2013 for Hashimoto's and adrenal fatigue, I've had no more problems.

    Before I managed to get optimally dosed I had a medial meniscus tear, but the pain from that has also now disappeared.

  • Your encouraging words about your adrenal fatigue treatment with Dr P are most encouraging to me, as I have only been on max. strength Adrenal support since the summer, co-incidentally 2 weeks before I was so disabled by this atrocious back pain of which I am still not yet recovered from...

    May I ask how long it took for you in your own circumstances to start to feel less back pain?

  • Poppy, my back problems always occurred after certain movements, which sent the muscles into spasm. So I'd always tried to be careful about how I move. I've been on max. adrenal support (6 NAX daily) since Feb. this year. I'm not sure when I realised that I can do those movements without causing spasms, but sometime this year. I thought it was to do with supplementing with Magnesium, but it seems it could also be the NAX.

    I hope your back pain will soon get better. All the best.

  • That is 6 months so far.

    I have been on NAX since July, 2 weeks before the back pain manifested itself. I have to say that my left foot started to be a little less painful to walk on at the weekend...and my back has started to feel infinitesimally better in the last day or so- if I am not imagining it! So in theory I am half way!!! IN the next 3 months my back will be feel stronger. Fingers crossed.

    Thank-you so much for replying me- you really have been such a help.

    Incidentally, my strange, severe back pain (feeling like I was being stabbed above the kidneys with an ice-pick), first appeared after I had Scarlet Fever at 15. I was told it was sequelae from the Scarlet Fever and was taken off games for a whole year as my back was so bad I could not even walk upstairs without severe pain in my back. Who knows, maybe it was the beginning of adrenal fatigue as I know I have been ill for a long time.

    You are a Star.


    Poppy TC


  • Good luck!



  • Wow! thank you Poppy TC very much for going to all this effort to give us such great info.

  • I felt it was a pretty titanic discovery especially when I was told there was not connection between my feet pain and my back by my own GP!

    I want it to help others with adrenal fatigue get more pieces to the puzzle because it really is such an insidious condition that is so ill understood by our GP's.

    Take care.

    Poppy TC

  • I too get feet pain and back pain was told 5 years ago was tendonitis in my feet but not sure now after reading so much on here

  • Excellent article....and wrote in plain english too!!! :) :)

  • I am lost for words! Sitting here with my mouth open! It all makes sense now! Thank you, Poppy.

  • When our own GP's deny that there is any link between feet pain and the spine, refusing to think logically, what chance do we stand of really having an inkling of what might be wrong with us! As a result I am being sent to the hospital to see a foot surgeon who will no doubt look at my feet in terms of what can be 'cut out!!!' A waste in this case of NHS hospital time/effort...

    As the Quakers say, "God helps those that help themselves". We have to persist in putting all our brains/knowledge together on this wonderful forum to mimic some kind of Super-computer, in order to help everybody.

    Glad to know you found it of interest.

    take care.

  • This is such an eye opener Poppy ! For years I've suffered severe back pain, it constantly goes into spasm. I have twitching eyelids, painful feet, I could go on and on. I must find a way to get adrenal support, any advice gratefully received?


  • I know it is an eye-opener, you are absolutely spot on!

    Well, as I understand it, once your thyroid issue for want of a better, subtle description, once things get bad enough and our adrenal glands can no longer contribute towards supporting the thyroid gland to help in the conversion of the thyroid hormone, simply taking thyroid support without helping out the adrenals can result in thyroid toxicity. Therefore, if your adrenal glands needs help, you definitely have to do just that.

    I am currently under the care of Dr. P who is is very experienced at adrenal support as he takes its role very seriously. After trying out the lower level strength 'Nutri Adrenal' - Adrenal Concentrate made by Nutri Advanced,

    ( Dr P put me onto the higher strength Nutri Adrenal Extra strength.

    However, before I was put onto this medication, Dr P asked me to take an adrenal saliva test- done by Genova Labs. As I recall it costs about £75 approx. However to get your results you need to put the name of your Dr or Consultant as they will not give you the result directly- somewhat annoyingly.

    From my own experience, self medicating for adrenal support is not something I would like to do without advice and support - though there are some extremely knowledgeable people on this site who will be better equipped to help you with advice.

    Good least you now have something you can act on after reading about back pain!

    take care

    Poppy the cat

  • Yes, yes, yes! Perfectly timed post - thank you PTC. So much is oh so familiar and I've just been told my morning cortisol is low.


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