It All Begins With the Feet… an answer to back pain

Posted on February 5, 2009 by


Article written by Jamie Lynn

Are you one of the many Americans that suffer from back or neck pain, maybe hip or knee pain?  You are not alone.  Between 1997 and 2005, a 65% increase in medical cost related to neck and back pain, an estimated $86 million per year (Salynn Boyles, 2/12/2008), and most of those patients seeking help did not feel long-term relief after treatment. Why?  Maybe the approach to treatment was not thorough enough? So, why do so many of us put OUR pain in the hands of someone else?  Now is the time to take responsibility for OUR own health and pain issues.

Now that you are ready to accept responsibility, where to start?  It all begins with your foundation, the feet.  Proper foot 100_0417_2mechanics and intrinsic strength of the foot muscles determine the mechanics of every joint above the foot.   The alignment of the body is dependent on muscular balance at all major joints: ankle, hip, knee, shoulder, and of course, the spine. It is important to determine where the muscular weakness is in order to determine how to effectively treat the pain. Pain in the lower back is often a result of locking the knees or walking with the feet in a duck foot position. The body is designed to function at its optimal level only when there is balance.  This balance is achieved only when the core is sufficiently strong to maintain proper posture.

Where is the imbalance? Locating the imbalance and then to strengthen the muscles in that area to better support your body (and improve overall posture) is the first step to relieving pain.  As a fitness coach and personal trainer this is my number one goal.  Once we find the imbalance core strengthening needs to be the backbone of all the work you do.  When the core is strong the spine is fully supported and the rest of the body can be held in balance. The core muscles wrap around the entire torso, not just the lower belly. Every movement made throughout your day, whether in the gym or out, must be initiated from the core.  Core strengthening exercise is easy, does not require any special equipment, and can be done at home.

Finding someone to help you learn some fundamental exercises for your core health can be tricky.  Seek out a personal trainer with a strong core emphasis, a physical therapist with experience working with the body as a whole unit, or a qualified Pilates instructor. Be sure and ask lots of questions; not all professionals work with this level of body awareness.

Jamie Lynn is a certified Genesis Coach with Genesis Transformation ( as well as co-owner of Alternate Root.  Alternate Root is a fitness facility in Kalispell, MT that offers training with experienced and certified instructors in private, small group, and large group settings. We recommend a program that includes cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training; agility and coordination skills; stress management; and a healthy diet.

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