Can a Podiatrist Help you Deal with Back Pain?

Can a Podiatrist Help you Deal with Back Pain? | Todd J. Albert, MD | New York CityPatients who visit our NYC office for orthopedic surgery do so because something has gone wrong somewhere along the spine. It may sound odd for us to bring up the idea that a person should see a podiatrist, or foot doctor, for back pain. But we’re going to do just that.

Before we discuss the relation between your feet and your back, we want to make it clear that the first person to help you manage back pain is your general physician. Proper diagnostics such as x-rays or other scans, as well as a thorough physical exam, are the necessary first step in understanding where back pain may be coming from.

What Affects Physical Comfort?

Research shows that our shoes may play a much bigger role in overall physical comfort than we think. You may consider stilettos a highly uncomfortable type of shoe, and never consider wearing them because they pinch your toes together. That doesn’t mean you don’t spend every weekend in flip-flops, though, which can be equally damaging. Let’s see how.

There is a concept that a kinetic chain exists throughout the body. The way that one part of the body is moved will affect other areas. Insufficient arch support affects gait, the manner in which you walk. Then, the pattern of movement is disrupted all the way up the spine. Ultimately, this causes stress, which could lead to immediate comfort, not to mention premature wear on joints and discs.

What Shoes Should You Wear?

If high-heels throw off your alignment, and flip flops barely support your feet, ankles, and knees, what types of shoes should you wear? To determine this, you may need to consult with a foot doctor or at least a very skilled shoe salesman.

The primary indicator of a good shoe for you is that your arches are adequately supported. Because there are high, low, and neutral arches, some shoes may work, and some may not. It may pay to consider:

  • Good running shoes. Many styles have motion control that will help stabilize and cushion the various types of arches.
  • Special inserts. There are some high-quality inserts available today that can meet the need for structural support.
  • Prescription orthotics, or functional orthotics, from your foot doctor, are made to address specific issues related to your foot structure.

Schedule a Consultation

Footwear is an important matter after a back injury, as well. If you require treatment for a spinal condition, we can help. To schedule a consultation in our NYC office, call (212) 606-1004

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