Orthotics shown to reduce low back pain

A pilot study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics provided evidence that that wearing shoe orthotics can reduce low back pain and discomfort after six weeks.

The study recruited 50 patients with chronic low back pain through media advertising in a mid-western suburban area. Medical history and a low back examination were completed at a chiropractic clinic.

Subjects were randomized to either a treatment group receiving custom-made shoe orthotics or a wait-list control group. After six weeks, the wait-list control group also received custom-made orthotics.

This study measured change in perceived pain levels (Visual Analog Scale) and functional health status (Oswestry Disability Index) in patients with chronic low back pain at the end of six weeks of orthotic treatment compared with no treatment and at the end of 12 weeks of orthotic treatment.

The study showed changes in back pain and disability with the use of shoe orthotics for six weeks compared with a wait-list control group. It appears that improvement was maintained through the 12-week visit, but the subjects didn’t continue to improve during this time.

The orthotics used in the study were provided by Foot Levelers.

SOURCE: “Shoe Orthotics for the Treatment of Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study,” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, May 2011, Vol. 34, Issue 4, pgs. 254-260