Are you one of the millions of women whose shoe shopping habits border on addiction? Do you rush to buy this year’s latest trend, whether it’s a patent leather Mary Jane, a sleek pump with 3″ stiletto heels or a casual suede mule? If so, you might be setting yourself a for a trip to your local chiropractor.
In many cases, the stylish creations that look so good on your feet may not be the best shoes for back pain.
Shoes and the trouble they cause
Patients from across the Dallas Metroplex come to see our Garland chiropractor complaining of lower back pain. Often, Dr. Mixon can diagnose the problem on the spot — and frequently footwear plays a major role.
Thinking about the body in terms of mechanics, this makes perfect sense. Your feet form the foundation for your body. Some people have arches that are too high. Others have arches that are too low. Some have narrow heels and wide feet and vice versa. This alone can lead to back pain as a mechanical discrepancy already exists.
Wearing uncomfortable shoes can aggravate the problem, leading to more pain. If your feet aren’t comfortable, it may affect your gait and the way you walk. This can lead to spinal misalignments and back pain.
Shoe styles to avoid
High heels are in a class of their own when it comes to causing back pain. They cause immeasurable strain to the lower back, severely inhibiting wearers from walking in the correct position. Dr. Mixon strongly advises against wearing heels of over an inch and a half. However, if heels are required for work, be sure to switch to more supportive shoes, like sneakers, when walking longer distances.
Fip-flops are on the other end of the shoe spectrum. They cause problems because they offer no support whatsoever. Long term use can cause lead to joint pain and tendon problems and conditions like hammer toes For this reason, your chiropractor or medical doctor may recommend a more supportive shoe to ensure that the natural roll of the heel to toe motion is clearly defined, accommodated and comfortable.
Orthotics are another way to support the foot. Orthotics are inserts which can provide additional arch support. These inserts can be slid into most shoes. If you wear orthotics, bring them with you the next time you go shoe shopping. This way you can find a shoe that works well with the orthotics. Sometimes, to accommodate orthotics comfortably, the shoe that you’re shopping for might need to be a wider width than normal.
What are the best shoes for back pain?
Most chiropractors will recommend running shoes for back pain patients, even if the patient only plans to use them for walking. Running shoes cushion the heel. This allows patients to relax against the cushioning without maneuvering their feet against it for comfort purposes.
They are also recommended for the rigidity of the mid-sole, which is excellent for support, even with orthotics. Some shoes, like certain styles of Aasics, have an IGS, or an Impact Guidance System, which reads the balance of your body and directs your foot straight forward upon landing, improving your gait with every step that you take.
Another beneficial feature to look for in a running shoe is a shock absorption system. This means the energy from each step is evenly distributed, taking the pressure off your feet and in turn, your lower back.
To sum up, when looking for the best shoes for back pain, look for shoes that offer well balanced support and adequate toe room and avoid excessively high heels,. Consider buying orthotics or an arch strengthening system for added protection.
For more information on how our Garland chiropractor can help you overcome foot and back pain, contact Texas Spine & Wellness.