Your back pain may not be the result of weak abs or that extra set of deadlifts you insisted on cranking out. Instead, it could be coming from your feet of all places. As the foundation for your entire body, even the slightest issue with your feet can create a ripple effect, manifesting as joint stress, back pain, or simply a kink in your alignment that makes you more prone to injuries in your workouts. (According to a recent survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 65% of folks with foot pain have back pain, too.) We talked to New York City podiatrist Pushpa Chauhan, D.P.M., and Golden Harper, a world-record marathoner and the founder of Altra footwear, about the common foot problems that could be royally screwing up the rest of your body—and how to fix them. Then, check out 4 Steps to Healthy Feet for ways to ward off future woes.
Annoying foot issues like flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and neuromas can create imbalances elsewhere in your body. Here's how to identify them and get back on your feet.