Are your shoes causing strife for your back?
If you are like millions of Americans, your shoe choice is made on the basis of style first and comfort second; often times, comfort is simply seen as a bonus! But we are here to tell you definitively that this is the wrong way to go about buying shoes. High heels are the perennial bad boy, but they are far from the only shoe on our list of the worst shoes for back pain.
The importance of shoes for protecting your spine
Walking is the activity that causes the most repetitive trauma to the joints of our lower body and back. Each step sends shockwaves upward through the ankles, knees, hips and into the spine. Along the way, there is a lot of potential for this shock to cause misalignment, damage and degeneration to these joints. The primary layer of protection we have against this shock is our shoes! A modern health guideilne states that we should strive to take 10,000 steps a day- and every one of those steps represents an opportunity to protect or further harm your musculoskeletal health.
The worst shoes for your spine list
- High heels: changes the angle of your entire body, arching your back, bending your knees and forcing certain muscles to work overtime to support this accentuated position.
- Flip flops: offer no shock-absorbing support, while forcing your toes to work hard to keep the shoe on your foot in the first place! Muscles, especially those surrounding the hips are forced to work harder to compensate resulting in muscular imbalances in the lower body and fatigue that leads to lower back pain.
- Flats: again, these shoes offer no support, and cause pressure to the foot that is then amplified throughout the rest of the body. As these shoes are an indelible part of any wardrobe, be sure to choose a supportive insole to go in your flats.
If you are committed to wearing one or more of these styles, make sure you invest in insoles that are matched to your foot-type to provide support where it counts most!
Healing back pain related to poor footwear choices
We hope this blog has given you food for thinking the next time you go to buy a pair of shoes (think of your spine first). So much of back pain can be avoided by taking a bottom-up approach. At Associates in Chiropractic, we use chiropractic techniques to address the muscular imbalance and spinal misalignment that results from repetitive trauma associated with walking. If you are interested in turning your footwear in your favor, give our office in Hackensack a call to schedule an appointment today.