Back pain can be caused by tight calf muscles.  That means your calves are stronger and tighter than the muscles on your shin. Our goal is to have soft calves.

Stretching your calves and strengthening the fronts of your lower leg (the shin) can help get your leg muscles balanced.

When you stretch your calf muscles be careful not to stretch tooooo much.  Just a nice, small stretch and no bouncing.

You can strengthen your shin muscles by  tilting your toes upward toward your knees. At the same time that movement also stretches your calf muscles.

Flat feet are another cause of back pain. 

If you don’t have your own natural arches, running shoe stores sell arch supports that will go into your shoes.  They probably work best if you wear loafer type shoes or athletic shoes.  You have to buy arch supports that really have a firm arch to them and that fit where your own natural arches would be.  Mushy, soft shoe liners are not the same as arch supports.

Running shoe store employees should know how to make sure they fit well.  They should cost around $30.

Also, try “making” arches with the muscles in your feet.  If your muscles feel like they want to cramp, back off and go slowly.  Eventually your foot muscles will get better at doing this and you will to have at least some benefit.

If you have knots in your back your flat feet could also be part of the cause of those knots.  Flat feet put a lot of strain on your upper back and neck as well as your lower back.

But when you have arches in your feet, your head is more balanced over your body and so there is less back  muscle strain.

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