Did you know that poorly chosen and ill-fitting footwear can result in a wide range of back problems? In fact, this issue is getting progressively more common in recent years with seven in ten people experiencing back pain at some point in their lives. An easy way to maintain good spinal health is by learning how to select comfortable shoes that fit well and feel good.
How Your Shoes Affect Your Back
Your feet act as the foundation for the rest of your body. When you walk, you put a force of up to five times your body weight on each foot. Your choice of footwear affects the way you walk, and this can have a significant impact on how much shock your body absorbs.
When you wear uncomfortable or ill-fitting shoes, this can result in a chain reaction that affects your ankles, knees, hips and ultimately, your back. If your foot doesn’t absorb that shock or redistribute it properly, it is possible to develop problems in other parts of your body – including your back. In fact, medical studies have revealed that walking the wrong way can eventually lead to back pain and spinal conditions such as sciatica, bulging discs and disc pain.
What are the Worst Shoes for Back Pain?
Extensive research has identified several types of shoes that exacerbate back pain. For example, flip flops have been linked to pain in the arch, heel, ankle and knee. This is because the thin material doesn’t support the foot sufficiently. What’s more, in order to keep the flip flop on you have to tighten your toes and walk in an unnatural way, and this results in strain on your legs and back. Other shoes that have been linked to poor back health include high heels and ballet flats.
What are the Best Shoes for Back Pain?
Ideally, your daily footwear should cushion and support your feet, feel comfortable and fit well. Some factors to consider include the height of the heel, the level of cushioning and shock absorption, and the fit. Some may want to look into specially-designed orthotic insoles as a way to help relieve back pain as these can provide proper support for your arches.
Looking After Your Back
The health of your back is influenced by a range of factors in addition to your choice of shoes. To maintain good back health be sure to eat well and get plenty of exercise. It’s also important to maintain proper posture when sitting and standing. Be sure to avoid putting strain on your back by learning how to lift objects safely and by taking the time to warm up before any physical activity.
If you suffer from back pain, always visit a doctor or spine specialist. They can identify the source of the pain and offer suggestions (including footwear recommendations) on how to relieve the pain.
How to Choose the Right Shoes for Back Pain
You can learn more about how to choose the right shoes for back pain in the infographic below. This infographic from Walsh Brothers Shoes shows you how to choose footwear that supports good back health.