Back pain affects more than 50 million Americans each year, and the diagnosis of the exact cause of back pain can be very frustrating, expensive, and inconclusive.
Recent studies have shown that over half of all back pain patients responded well when treated with custom-made orthotics. If you are suffering from back pain and cannot get relief, custom-made orthotics may help you.
In the largest study on back pain, it was discovered that over 50% of all patients had one of the following problems which were not identified by the treating doctor: leg shortages, poor posture, or muscle strains and imbalances. Once the problem was properly identified and treated with custom-made orthotics, 75% of the patients showed marked improvement. Hundreds of dollars were spent on sophisticated tests when instead, with just a few simple diagnostic steps, the treating doctor could have made the diagnosis; the simplest answers are frequently overlooked!
All three of these problems place abnormal pressure and stress on the spine, causing inflammation and pain. Custom-made orthotics reduce the abnormal pressures on the spine, and act as shock absorbers, reducing the jarring of the spine as we walk. These two actions were found to relieve back pain. Why did this happen?
1. Leg shortages: The body compensates for this by leaning towards the short leg, trying to extend it and make the short leg longer. This constant leaning puts a great deal of pressure on the spine. Eventually the spine becomes so inflammed from this pressure that pain results. By using a custom-made orthotic with a lift built into it for the short leg, the legs are then made the same length. This stops the body's need for compensation, which alleviates the abnormal pressure on the spine. No pressure... no pain!
2. Poor posture: By standing and walking improperly, due to slouching or abnormal ways of holding ourselves erect, we place tremendous abnormal forces on our spine. This causes inflammation of the bones that make up the spine, and this eventually causes pain. After many years of standing and walking with this posture, we cannot change it just by thinking about it. Custom-made orthotics, designed with specific lifts and support, will reduce the abnormal forces on our spine caused by poor posture. No abnormal forces... no pain!
3. Muscle strains and imbalances: Attached on either side of our spine are muscles of equal strength which keep the spine straight. If the muscles on one side of the spine become stronger than the muscles on the other side, there is a muscle imbalance. This causes the muscles on the weaker side to try and pull harder on the spine in order to keep it straight. These overworked muscles eventually become strained, inflamed, and painful. Custom-made orthotics with proper support for the foot and leg on the weaker muscle side will help to rebalance the back muscles. When the muscles in the spine are balanced, there is no inflammation — no pain!
TREATMENT: In the study on back pain, using custom-made orthotics rather than just shoe lifts or pads was more effective for the following reasons:
- Shoe lifts and pads wear out quickly and loose their original shape. As the heel and sole of the shoe wear down, so does any correction that the lifts or pads might have provided. The comfortable, yet durable materials that our custom-made orthotics are constructed with will last for years without wearing down or loosing their shape. Custom-made orthotics will also reduce abnormal shoe wear, so that your shoes will last longer.
- Shoe lifts and pads cannot provide shock absorbency for the spine for a similar reason. Lifts and pads will compress quickly, removing all shock absorbency from them. Our custom-made orthotics are made of modern shock absorbent materials, which compress when the body's weight is placed on them; and, when the weight is removed from the orthotic, it returns to its original shape (the materials have a built in "memory"). This ensures years of comfort giving shock absorbency for the spine and back.
- Shoe lifts and pads become expensive because they work for only 2 to 3 months before they must be replaced. Our orthotics will last for years, thus saving you money in the long run.
WHAT ARE CUSTOM-MADE ORTHOTICS? The conclusion of the study on chronic back pain indicates that thousands of people with back pain could be helped with custom-made orthotics. Our custom-made orthotics are made with modern, comfortable materials that will last for years, without needing replacement. Our orthotics are custom-made from molds of your feet, specifically for you! In 30 years of private practice, I have successfully treated many patients with lower back pain with custom-made orthotics. For more information about our line of custom-made orthotics, please click here.
CUSTOM-MADE ORTHOTICS FOR BACK PAIN are constructed of thin, comfortable, shock absorbent materials. These materials compress as you place your weight on the orthotic, thus absorbing the shock of each step rather than passing on these shocks to the leg and spine. When you remove your weight from the orthotic, the orthotic returns to its original shape and height. This occurs because the materials we use have a "memory," remember their original shape and height, and return to it. Thus, these orthotics are always ready to relieve the shocks to the spine we experience with each step. These are truly modern materials and orthotics, which are extremely comfortable and durable. From the impressions of your feet that you make with our Foam Impression Kit, and the information you provide us on a comprehensive self-examination form, we design and construct a pair of orthotics that will help to reduce your unique back pains, muscle imbalances, postural defects, and foot abnormalities. These orthotics will fit in any shoe with a heel height up to 1 1/2 inches.
People with back pain have also found these products to be effective: