Do you suffer from lower back pain? For many Americans, lower back pain is part of life. It doesn’t have to be that way. When I’m personal training clients, they’re always surprised that their foot strength is one reason they’re feeling pain in their back. I know it may sound far from what you thought was the cause of your pain, but a few foot strengthening exercises can offer lower back pain relief.
Causes of lower back pain
There are many reasons that you feel tightness, soreness, and discomfort in your back. Some of the causes include lack of strength in your core, tight and weak hamstrings, tight hip flexors, weak glutes, and weak arches in your feet.
Yes, that’s right; your lack of foot strength could be causing your low back pain! Just like you exercise your core, you need to focus on your feet too!
Weak feet or arches can create problems in your mechanical movement patterns (the way you move every day). If you have weak arches, it will affect the way you push off your big toe, which could cause you to rotate at your ankle and then your knee.
Next, that rotation at the knee and ankle will cause your hip to rotate in the opposite direction, causing lordosis. (Excessive low back curvature).
That might not seem to make much sense but believe me, it’s a mess that isn’t that uncommon. If you know what you’re looking for you’ll see it A LOT. I do!
So now the real question is:
- Do you suffer from lower back pain?
- Do you turn your toes out when you walk?
- Do you want to take your shoes off first thing when you get home because your feet hurt?
If the answers are yes, your feet may be causing your back pain. These back pain relief exercises will help correct your issues and help your low back pain!
*This post contains an affiliate link. I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you click on the link. As a Certified Personal Trainer, I only recommend products and services that I feel strongly about for their proven benefits.
Foot-strengthening exercises for lower back pain relief
If you have low back pain and suspect that it may be a foot issue, these are four ways to fix the problem and begin feeling back pain relief. Two of these are foot strengthening exercises.
- Walk around barefoot.
- Strengthen your feet.
- Work out your foot.
- Buy less supportive shoes.
How walking around barefoot can improve back pain
Step 1: Walk around barefoot. The EASIEST way to solve your back pain is to get out of your shoes and start using your feet!
The main reason our arches become weak and stiff it because we wear stiff, rigid, cushioned, supported shoes which TURN OFF our feet from having to do any work to help us walk or even stand!
How’s your balance? Not so good? Then, look at your feet. 😉 Not wearing your shoes while at home is a HUGE start!
Lacrosse ball foot strengthening exercise
Step 2: Strengthen your foot. Next, give your feet some attention. The feet need to be taken care of like any other muscle or tissue in your body. This is a foot exercise. However, it can also be considered a lower back pain exercise because you are fixing a potential cause of your back pain by strengthening your foot with a lacrosse ball.
Lacrosse ball strengthening exercise for your foot:
- Stand with the ball under one foot.
- Roll that foot on top of the ball with as much pressure as you can comfortably stand.
- You’re going to want to roll the ball side to side starting under toes, working down towards your heel.
Spend at least 2 minutes on each foot.
Foot exercise videos
Step 3: Work out your foot! That’s right, your foot needs a workout like any other muscles in your body to get them stronger.
The best exercises to help create better arch strength are the heal raise with a lacrosse ball and short foot exercise. This video will give you a deeper understanding of how to perform each exercise so you can say goodbye to weak arches and stop suffering from low back pain.
To do the heel raises with a lacrosse ball:
- Stand next a wall for balance.
- Keep tension in your core.
- Put the lacrosse ball between each heel.
- Rise onto your toes.
- Try to turn your ankles inwards at the top.
- Lower your feet. Repeat for 1 minute.
Try these simple but effective steps to get your feet stronger to help fix your low back pain. To fix chronic issues, you must work EVERY DAY at doing something to offset the causes. It will take time for these simple fixes to make a difference, so don’t get discouraged, keep working at it and be more aware of the things you do every day that might be contributing to the cause( aka shoes).0
Best shoes for lower back pain
Step 4. Buy new shoes. You’re on your way toward strengthening your foot with the exercises, which should improve your lower back pain. However, remember step one where you took your shoes off? You did that because most shoes turn your foot off with all the support in them, which makes your back pain worse. Fourth, buy a new pair of shoes.
More than likely, a new pair of shoes will ensure the foot exercises work. Pick a shoe with LESS support and LESS cushion. You want a MORE neutral fitting shoe to wake back up the muscles and nerves in your foot again!
I recommend The Lems Shoes company for its wide selection of casual, semi-casual, and sports styles. (Use promo code: MARK15 to get 15% off!)
What you wear affects your performance.
Fixing lower back pain
You shouldn’t have to suffer through lower back pain. By taking a few steps and spending some time focusing on your feet, you should begin to see improvement. You should also try these glute strengthening exercises. You’ll get a tighter butt and you’ll help your low back pain.
Also, if you do crunches a lot that may be another source of your back pain. The TRX suspension trainer is a better way to build a strong core. Plus, it’s easy on your joints and muscles like your back. You’ll improve your flexibility and mobility too, which may be a challenge if your back hurts.