The Link Between Foot, Back, and Hip Pain

The Link Between Foot, Back, and Hip Pain

Our feet are the foundation of our skeletal system. Many structural problems in our body cause us pain and irritation to begin in the feet, where our body meets the Earth.

If there’s an issue with something related to our feet, chances are it won’t be long until we feel the effects elsewhere in our body – either in our legs, back, knees, or hips. To learn how to help relieve pain in the hips and other types of discomfort, you may need to start by managing issues in your feet.

Today, we’ll explore the link between feet, back, and hip pain and show you how to help with hip pain and other issues that can affect an otherwise healthy body.

The Skeletal and Muscular Structures of Our Lower Body

In 1955, pioneering orthopedic surgeon Dr. Arthur Steindler took common engineering principles and used them to think about the human skeletal system.

He took the kinematics theory and proposed that health practitioners think of the human skeleton as a system of “successively arranged joints constituting a complex motor unit.”

Under this new school of thought, we could consider no joint in isolation. Instead, any adjustment or change to one joint would affect every other one in the chain. So, if our feet are over or under pronating, it will affect every other joint in the skeletal chain by putting excess stress in areas never designed to bear it.

Essential Considerations When Trying to Reduce Hip Pain and Other Discomforts

Besides the biomechanics of pronation and gait, our hips and back are affected by many other stressors related to our lower body, including injuries to our feet or ankles that may change our regular movement walking gait.

These injuries may stem from a single traumatic incident or repetitive stress. Even something as simple as standing for an extended time or high-intensity activity without an adequate warm-up can cause issues that radiate throughout your lower body.

Common Foot Problems that Lead to Foot, Back, and Hip Pain

Many different foot problems can lead to ongoing pain in the feet, back, and hips. Here are some of the most common.

Fallen Arches / Flat Feet

Many people are born with flat feet or experience their arches falling as they age. The result is a condition that places stress on areas of the feet not designed to absorb it. If the arches have no support, you’ll feel this stress in other areas like the hips and back.

High Arches

Feet with high arches can also cause problems in other lower-body areas because normal arches provide beneficial cushioning. Runners who have high arches are especially vulnerable to this pain, which can go on to cause injuries like runner’s knee.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue connecting your heel to the front of your foot (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed and irritated, typically because of overuse.

If you change the way you walk because of plantar fasciitis, it can cause hip, knee, and back pain. Management of these issues often begins with treating the ongoing foot problem.


Our gait and the way we walk in our everyday life has a considerable effect on our lower body.

Overpronation, or a gait that shifts inward too much, forces the arches of our feet into an unusual stretch and can negatively affect the alignment of our lower body. Pronation and hip pain can cause painful, ongoing hip issues like bursitis.

Foot Pain Management Offers Benefits for the Whole Lower Body

If you feel pain in your back, hips, or knees that seem unrelated to any activities you were doing recently, consult a doctor or medical professional right away. It’s crucial to treat these issues as quickly as possible to avoid long-term complications.

Your doctor will likely suggest a combination of gentle stretches and exercises designed to improve your lower body’s strength and posture. Good knee, back, and hip pain remedies start with strengthening these areas.

Your doctor may also evaluate your shoes and will often suggest investing in a more supportive pair or even custom orthotics to correct gait or pronation issues.

Custom Orthotics for Hip Pain and Other Lower Body Issues

Custom orthotics are an excellent choice for people with hip pain or other lower body issues. These ongoing issues and pain are so often the result of poor gait or pronation. Once it’s corrected, the irregular stress and alignment caused by these foot issues should improve.

Ordering custom orthotics doesn’t have to be complicated.

Just visit Orthotics Direct to shop a wide variety of different orthotic bases. We’ll customize it to your exact measurements. If you buy a package of custom orthotics and shoes, we’ll even insert your orthotics into your shoes and check that the fit is perfect before we ship them to your door.  

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