Most of those people think there is little one can do about back pain other than ice it, take some muscle relaxers and maybe pop ibuprofen by the thousands.
A significant number of them would probably be surprised to find out that their feet might be causing all the problems! A short history of Podiatry.
A podiatrist must be licensed in the United States.
And the license comes from the state in which they want to practice.
This follows an education of about eight years.
Four years of pre-medicine followed by a doctoral degree which is another four years.
It's a very difficult curriculum and it's not uncommon for students to drop out throughout the four years.
The 7 - 8 years must then be followed by 2 - 3 years of residency.
The foot is surprisingly delicate considering that some experts estimate that we walk the circumference of the earth throughout our life.
That is a lot of steps and just 26 bones and 33 joints to take that repeated stress over your lifetime.
For some people this turns out fine but for quite a few an injury of some sort causes a slight shift in the balance and gait of their walk.
This tiny change in balance often throws the entire body out of balance.
That's when we become susceptible to back strains.
Our feet are shock absorbers and when they are not stepping correctly they lose their ability to distribute the shock our bodies produce with each step.
Instead our weight becomes focused on one area of the foot and an imbalance happens.
Any small change can trigger this.
If a person develops a corn that becomes painful they will very often develop a change in their walk so there is less pain.
This same change that lessens the pain now will often be the culprit in severe knee or back pain a few years later.
Podiatry has developed a way to discover these flaws in our step.
They use a computer program that is hooked into a "board" that a patient walks across.
Their weight is registered to an exact degree per square inch and then the program calculates what they need to do to correct it.
The program will then design something that's inserted into the shoe called an "orthotic" which is created precisely to counter all the ill effects your feet have suffered over the years.
They put your feet back into balance.
An orthotic is surprisingly cheap and for some people it is simply a miracle.
But since almost everybody that walks over a mile a day probably has some problems with the balance in their feet orthotics is a good idea for everyone.
They decrease that worn feeling a person feels after walking all day and coupled with a great walking shoe that absorbs the body's weight anyone can experience significant gains in the control of foot pain.
Many times this results in the elimination of foot pain or a drastic reduction.
Podiatry often recommends orthotics as a matter of course because the benefits always outweigh the very low cost of creating this insole knee and back savior.