Back Pain and Heel Pain – Are They Connected Somehow?

In this paper, they say that the odds of having back pain was 5 times higher in people with heel pain.  They mention that there could be a few reasons why, including the body mechanics, and the fact that the nerves that serve the heel come out of the spinal cord in the lower back.  Either way, getting checked by an expert in the mechanics of the body would be worth while for people who have this combination of problems.

The Foot
Volume 34, March 2018, Pages 18-22
Shane McClinton


•  Low back pain is prevalent in individuals with plantar heel pain.
•  The odds of having low back pain was 5 times higher in those with plantar heel pain.
•  Higher low back disability was associated with lower foot/ankle function.
•  Low back dysfunction may be important in the management of plantar heel pain.



Lack of response to plantar heel pain (PHP) treatment may be related to unmanaged low back pain (LBP) and low back dysfunction, but a relationship between LBP and PHP has not been established. The purpose of this investigation was to compare the prevalence of LBP among individuals with and without PHP and to assess the association between low back disability and foot/ankle function.


A cross-sectional study compared the prevalence and likelihood of LBP in individuals with (n = 27) and without (n = 27) PHP matched to age, sex, BMI, foot posture, and foot mobility. In individuals with PHP, correlations were examined between foot/ankle function using the foot and ankle ability measure (FAAM), low back disability using the Oswestry low back disability questionnaire (OSW), duration of PHP symptoms, body mass index (BMI), and age.


A greater percentage of individuals with PHP had LBP (74% versus 37% of controls, odds ratio = 5.2, P = 0.009) and higher levels of low back disability (17% higher OSW score than controls, P < 0.001). In individuals with PHP, FAAM scores were correlated with OSW scores (ρ = −0.463, P = 0.015), but not with duration of PHP symptoms, BMI, or age (P > 0.150).


Individuals with PHP had a greater prevalence of LBP and higher low back disability that was correlated to reduced foot and ankle function. Treatment to address both local and proximal impairments, including impairments related to LBP, may be warranted to improve the management of PHP.

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