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A quizzical way to relieve back pain

One of the simplest ways to relieve back pain is to take your shoes and socks off, then go and walk on rough terrain, and different surfaces for 20 mins a day.

Yes, it can be that simple, if not slightly perplexing.

Go and walk on grass, stones, basically anything that isn’t totally comfortable. The best part of this is anyone can do it and its FREE! But I hear you cry I don’t have 20 minutes to spare. Well suck it up and spare the time, we all make choices and remember pain is a powerful motivator, and will sooner or later win.

So why is walking barefoot so powerful? Anyone ever thought how things like reflexology can help with pain? It’s simple really it’s just in terms of neurology and feedback systems. Information comes into the brain gets sent back out for movement. Feet are very important and have literally loads of nerve endings, and they are as important as your eyes, nose, ears and hands. They all help you navigate the world you are in and enable you to live safely in the world.

If you lack the ability to sense the world you are in, you become vulnerable.

The lower back and sacral nerves feed and stimulate the foot. These nerves that stimulate the foot also stimulate deep core muscles in the back and pelvic area (hence the feedback system mentioned earlier). 

You need these muscles to prevent injury and recover from one. The small muscles in your back are sections that relate to the soles of your feet. The stabilising muscles of the lower back are designed to receive lots of information from the feet. (Just on a side note people look at me strangely when I swing kettlebells in bare feet, this is the reason folks).

Wearing shoes, in many ways, deprives the senses in your feet and lower back. It starves them of vital neural feedback information. Walking on rough terrain challenges the deep core muscles in the lower back to activate and work. In many ways, you can’t fully rehab the back until you look at the feet.

What’s the easiest way to rehab yourself, go outside in bare feet. Change the environment and your body is forced to adapt. Don’t just take my word for it… go out and do it for 20 minutes a day. You can also give your foot some sensory love with massage, reflexology and acupuncture.

The sensory feet back will also help activate your Bum (glutes). So if you have a pain in the ars* try this as well.

I always try my best to help people and offer free consultations at my Chester, Sandbach and St Asaph clinics. Call 0800 468 1008 or email me [email protected]


Matthew Budd BSc (Hons)