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Is Ankle Instability Causing Your Back Pain

Multiple studies show that people suffering foot pain or ankle instability increased their chances of developing low back pain by nearly 40%.

Are you already dealing with back pain that won’t go away, no matter what treatment you get? Below I will outline how an old ankle injury turns into low back pain. If your therapist does not think like this, you are wasting your time and money.  

courtney cook SsIIw MET0E unsplashPicture this: You’re teeing off, feeling good about  your game.  As you transition from backswing into the power phase your ankle rolls into a less-than-ideal position. You feel something twinge in your ankle – maybe a sprain, or maybe just a bit of wobble. You power through, but that instability is about to trigger a chain reaction…

So what happens is this Instability in the ligament of your ankle instantly sends your brain a signal which triggers your  peroneus longus muscle to fire suddenly. The Extreme response helps to ward off some of the damage to the ligament. But injures some of the fibers that then become ropey bands. This changes the quality of the muscle response creating quicker fatigue, instability or maybe it stops fully doing its job fully at some point.   

The #1 rule- when something in the body stops doing its job, something else is going to fill in the gap. The question becomes what is the consequence?

sobo 1909 307 fe29411Now the ligament of the ankle and the peroneals are not doing what they need to fully stabilize the ankle. This means the big toe is affected in the foot (this could lead to heel pain) and above the ankle other muscles will have to do more work to make up for the peroneals. One scenario is the front of the lower leg on the anterior tibialis tries to pick up the slack.  This causes more stress on the shins and may start to trigger shin splints as a warning that this muscle is taking on too much load.

You keep ignoring it and when the anterior tibialis doesn’t fully do its job anymore it is very likely the IT band is asked to provide more even stability,  putting more pressure on the knee and hip flexors, your TFL. Your brain recruits the side of the glutes putting pressure on the SI joint and if all this fails it stresses the obliques. and calls on the erector muscles way too hard which causes back pain.

Why Treatment Often Fails:

You’ve tried massage, adjustments, maybe even physical therapy, but your back pain keeps coming back. That’s because the cause of your pain is in your ankle and nobody is addressing it, that’s why your other therapist fails.

My Approach: Treat the Pain, and Address the True Cause.

Yes, I’ll treat your back pain for immediate relief. But to break the cycle for good, we need to uncover why it keeps happening. I’ll look at your past injuries and do specific tests to see how you have adapted to them. This helps us target the true cause of your pain, not just the symptoms. This approach is the key to lasting pain relief and getting you back to your best!

Are you ready to ditch the recurring pain and get back to doing what you love? Click here to book your treatment and let’s get started!

Almutairi AF, BaniMustafa A, Bin Saidan T, Alhizam S, Salam M. The Prevalence and Factors Associated with Low Back Pain Among People with Flat Feet. Int J Gen Med. 2021 Jul 20;14:3677-3685. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S321653. PMID: 34321913; PMCID: PMC8312604.
McClinton S, Weber CF, Heiderscheit B. Low back pain and disability in individuals with plantar heel pain. Foot (Edinb). 2018 Mar;34:18-22. doi: 10.1016/j.foot.2017.09.003. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PMID: 29202429.

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