Your body is an interconnected, self-contained machine. So, the footwear you select should acknowledge that what you wear on your feet can have a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of your spine.
And when you’ve living with back pain, you need to be doubly conscious of your footwear choices.
This post is about choosing the right shoes for back pain and how your choices in this area can make a tremendous difference.
The “Trickle Up” Effect
Your feet act as your body’s foundation and when you’re wearing the wrong shoes, or shoes that hurt, you’re provoking a trickle up effect with repercussions for your entire lower body. That effect runs up the body from the feet, impacting ankles, knees and hips. Sooner or later, that trickle up effect is going to hit your back.
Support is key. Without it, your body will adjust to accommodate the improper footwear you’re wearing, affecting your posture and gait. And when these aspects of your physical integrity are affected, your spine’s alignment will be, too.
Shock absorption is also key to protecting your physical integrity, as your foot striking the pavement trickles up, too.
The right pair of shoes stabilizes your foot, improving posture and gait, allowing your joints, muscles and bones to be at their most efficient.
If you’re concerned that the footwear you currently have is affecting your back, then a visit to the doctor is in order.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns. They’ll run appropriate diagnostics to determine if your back pain is emanating from unsuitable footwear or caused by another issue.
Doctors are trained to identify the roots causes of pain, ruling out possibilities to pinpoint the presenting problem.
But if it’s determined that your shoes are contributing to back pain, they’ll make recommendations based on the size and shape of your foot, making your selection easier.
Review these tips to help you find the right shoe:
- To determine what type of arch support you need, dip your foot in water and then place it on a dry piece of cardboard. The resulting imprint will reveal what type of arch you have, to guide your choices.
Neutral: If the arch is shown by the imprint to be halfway filled in, the type of shoe you should choose offers moderate stability at the heel and a firm midsole.
Low: A complete footprint indicates a low arch. You foot will pronate excessively, contributing to muscle stress. Choose a walking shoe which controls the motion of your foot.
High: Your feet may not be good shock absorbers, so you need footwear with a curved sole and additional cushioning.
- Avoid wearing high heels. We know they impart an elegant appearance. But they throw your body out of alignment to the point that long-term wear invariably results in back pain. Keep heel height to 2 inches.
- Avoid wearing flip flops. They may be the official footwear of summer, but constant wear deprives your feet of necessary support.
Got back pain? Contact us.