Study Connects Lower Back Pain to Flat Feet in Women

November 22, 2013
Category: Foot Conditions

Flat FeetA study published in Rheumatology suggests that women who suffer from flat feet are fifty percent more susceptible to have lower back pain as opposed to those with normal or high arched feet. Senior author Marian Hannan of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife in Boston, measured each subject’s foot in the standing position and had him or her walk across a mat with embedded sensors to measure heel pressure to the foot’s tip while walking.

Interestingly, the research showed only women with pronated feet were linked to having lower back pain. Hannan says that because women’s pelvic bones are wider and move their upper bodies more are the likely causes of being more affected by flat feet. Hannan suggests any individual with lower back pain to consult a physician or therapist.

If you believe you suffer from foot problems as a result of flat feet, it is best to seek a podiatrist like Dr. Andrew H. Cohen of Mid-Michigan Foot and Ankle Center.  Dr. Cohen will evaluate your condition and provide appropriate treatment options for your feet.  

Flat Feet

Flat feet are the name of a condition in which the arch of the foot is lowered or fails to develop all together. Flat feet are common among babies and small children, but arches are generally formed as the child grows. However, flat feet can become problematic if the arch never develops.  Adults may develop flat feet after an injury or from the increased weight of a pregnancy.


The wet footprint test can help diagnose flat feet. The individual places their feet on a wet surface, and then walks across a dry surface to create an impression of their footprint. If there are no indentations or arches in the footprint, the individual may have flat feet. In all cases, it is best to consult with a podiatrist to confirm the diagnosis.

Types of Flat Feet

Rigid – this is when someone’s arch of the foot is not present when sitting or standing.

Treatment may be necessary if pain is present, and orthotics may be prescribed.

Flexible – the arch shows when someone is sitting, but then goes away when they are standing.

Treatment may not be necessary.


In some instances surgery may be recommended if exercise and orthotics do not work.

If you have any questions, please contact our offices in Saginaw, MI and Essexville, MI.We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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