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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Orthotics & Disc Problem
October 2000

Q. I have a disc problem and do not want to resort to surgery. I have tried chiropractic, medication and epidural back shots. Would orthotics help? I am a pronator, 205 lbs, 5'8".

A. Your question has two answers. First of all, being a pronator and being overweight can cause back problems. This is because, in part, your back has to adjust or compensate for both the pronation and extra weight. Orthotics, while not helping with the weight problem, can help with the foot problem. Naturally, I don't know whether or not your disk problems are made worse by your foot problems, but it is a possibility.

I suggest that you do what you can to get into a back school to learn more about exercises and other non- medical or surgical treatments for your back. If you can find a good podiatrist, you could seek his or her opinion as to whether your pronation is contributing to your back pain, and do what you can to lose weight.

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