Back pain will affect seventy to eighty percent of adults at some point in their life, with millions currently affected in North America. There are many causes of back pain such as degenerative disease of the spine and hips, nerve injury, musculoskeletal disorders, lower extremity joint disease, and many more according to the literature. Focusing on the role the lower extremity plays in back pain; disorders such as flat feet alter the function of the foot due to the loss of an arch and produce abnormal motion, which can affect the biomechanics of the rest of the body. A case study looking at the relationship between lower extremity dysfunction, pelvic disorder, and back pain is discussed below.
A 26-year old male came to a Chiropractor with chronic back, leg, and ankle pain. The back pain arose three years ago following an injury lifting bricks. The pain in his leg and ankle began nine years prior and was felt in both legs, however following a broken ankle the pain in his right leg went away. Being flat footed since childhood, it was reported that after his right ankle had broken an arch in his right foot had formed and the left foot remained flat.
Upon examination it was noted that subluxations were present in the upper cervical, mid thoracic, upper lumbar, and sacral regions. During an examination of the lower extremities it was revealed that there was abnormal function of the left foot, where the collapsed arch existed. Adjustments were delivered to the areas where subluxations were present three times a week. The lower back pain resolved within three weeks of care, however the leg pain persisted. The patient was then fitted with orthotics to correct the alignment of the feet.
During a follow up examination, the patient reported a significant decrease in leg pain. Alignment problems can arise from childhood injuries and manifest in different ways during adulthood. Through the use of chiropractic care and orthotics, there was a correction of a collapsed arch as well as resolution of chronic back, leg, and ankle pain.
Mattson, R. (2008). Resolution of Chronic Back, Leg and Ankle Pain Following Chiropractic Intervention and the Use of Orthotics. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation, 2008, 1-4.