If you suffer from sciatica, it’s likely your health care provider or someone you know has suggested custom orthotics to help alleviate your lower back pain. You may have questions about orthotics, and whether they really can provide relief of sciatic pain. The answer is that yes, the foot support that custom orthotics provide are designed to cushion the heel, toes, and foot, and can bring relief from discomfort and pain caused by sciatica, poor posture or an unbalanced gait.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is not a diagnosis. It is a symptom of any number of common lower back problems that are caused by:
- Muscle strain
- Spinal tumour
- Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Degenerative disc disease
- A lumbar herniated disc
- As well as other health conditions
Typically, people suffering from sciatic pain will feel numbness, weakness, tingling, or pain that originates in the lower back and travels through the buttock to the large sciatic nerve that runs down the back of the leg.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Your health care provider’s approach to treating sciatica usually depends on the underlying cause but is more likely to be successful if the treatment focuses on restoring balanced functions in the entire body — from the ground up – as well as other approaches such as physical therapy and reduction of pain and inflammation.
Custom foot orthotics can help with lower back pain management by improving and stabilizing foot positioning, which then improves other aspects of your posture and gait. The medical terminology for this is called the “kinetic chain”. Your feet are the base of the kinetic chain, and each joint above them – all the way up the torso – is considered a “link” in the chain.
What are Orthotics and How Do They Help Sciatica Pain?
Ill-fitting, non-supportive shoes can result in changes to your gait, causing your legs and feet to compensate for foot and shoe problems. For example, if your gait pushes your pelvis forward, it can place pressure on your lower back and sciatic nerve. Custom Orthotics are a foot support system added to or built into your shoes to stabilize ankle movement, restoring your foot’s natural, neutral alignment, and improving foot, knee and hip positioning that can be causing sciatic pain.
Do you suffer from sciatica or lower back pain? At SoleScience, our certified Pedorthists can help you get to the root of the problem. Call today for a consultation!