Just like the links of a chain, your body is connected bone to joint, joint to ligament, etc. If you have foot pain, your body adjusts your walking pattern by leaning more to one side of your foot, or not bending your joint properly. This adjustment can cause added pressure on your ankle, knee, hip and eventually your back, resulting in unnecessary back pain and injury.
Wearing the proper shoes will help prevent these adjustments, potentially reducing the risk of arthritis, pulled muscles and back aches.
Kick Off Your Heels
Research shows that 37% 69% of females wear high-heeled shoes on a daily basis. This can cause an increase in lumbar lordosis (excessive curve in the lower back) and pelvic anteversion (hips tilted forward). Foraminal stenosis can also occur, resulting in shooting pains, numbness, spasms, muscle weakness, cramping and pain that radiates through the buttocks and down the legs.
When choosing what heels to wear, avoid pointed toe shoes and keep your heel to a two-inch maximum. Be sure to stretch your leg muscles before and after putting your heels on and bring a pair of flats with you to change into whenever possible.
Rocker-Sole Shoes and Insoles
Rocker-sole shoes have been advertised for the past few years and claim to help you lose weight and reduce back pain. However, in a clinical study, results showed that rocker-sole shoes were no more beneficial for disability and pain than regular flat shoes. In fact, if you have lower back pain that is aggravated by walking or standing, flat shoes were shown to be more beneficial than rocker-sole shoes.
As for insoles, another study showed there is strong evidence that the use of insoles does not prevent back pain. However, insoles will not hurt your back when fitted properly, so there is no harm in using them if it adds comfort to your daily routine.
So how do you choose the best shoes for your back? Keep these tips in mind:
- Shoes should be comfortable and fit well when you buy them.
- Buy shoes in the evening when your feet are the largest.
- Never buy shoes that require breaking-in or getting used to. This will cause blisters, bunions, corns, infection and possible deformity further down the road.
Every person has a different comfort level. Listen to your body and if you feel an ache or pain, switch your shoes. Find something that makes you comfortable and allows you to go through your day without foot, knee or back pain. Its your job to keep your spine healthy and sometimes its as easy as standing comfortably on your own two feet.
If you are experiencing back pain, call the Spine Health Institute at Call866-986-7497. Dr. Patel and his team of experienced spine specialists will help you get back to the activities that you love.
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Effect of High-Heeled Shoes on the Parameters of Body Posture. SPINE Volume 38 , Number 20 , pp 1785 1789, 2013
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Effectiveness of Rocker Sole Shoes in the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain. SPINE Volume 38 , Number 22 , pp 1905 1912, 2013
"Insoles for Prevention and Treatment of Back Pain." - The Cochrane Library. N.p., Oct. 2007. Web. 31 Jan. 2014
Proper Fitting Shoes. Digital image. Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, 21 Mar. 2009. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
"How High Heels Affect Your Body." Spine Health Institute. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.