#TACTIX :: Footwear causing back pain

Are you experiencing more back pain lately and not sure what might be the cause of it? Most of us will seek the advice of Dr. Google and try to look up the cause. But a possible culprit might be found if you just look down for the cause. From chiropractic and a biomechanical point of view, your choices of footwear often have a huge impact on your spine and the way it functions. If you remember the old Dem Bones song – The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone…The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone…The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone. Eventually, the “connections” lead up to your spine. Your footwear can be causing your back pain. How your shoes position your ankles, knees, hips, and spine could create muscle and joint imbalances leading to spinal misalignments

Your footwear choices

Think of your shoes as your body’s foundation. Your feet have to support your body and keep weight distributed evenly. Like feet, shoes have everything to do with how your back feels. Your shoes need to provide comfort, stability, and proper posture for your body to keep it aligned properly.

High heels shift body weight forward adding pressure on the bones and joints and restricts ankle and foot movement. Flipflops, slides, and thongs are may be convenient footwear to quickly slip on when we are in a rush or on the way out to the beach. But these “shoes” provide no support, increase the spinal curve in your lower back, and causes toes to scrunch to hold in place.  Casual shoes and flats don’t always provide strong support in the arches and often have thin or little padding. This could lead to your ankle rolling inward again causing misalignment of the spine. Heavy work boots, if not fitted properly, can also lead to back pain from poor arch support, awkward gait movements, and shifting feet positions.

What footwear is better for your spine

In terms of high heels, look for ones with a rounded-toed heel instead of a pointed-toed heel, not too tall, with a wider stilt. Give your feet a break by switching to lower heels. Work boots should fit, be laced properly, and have a good solid heel. Flats or casual shoes should have good arches and cushion. Thongs and slides need a sturdy sole and strap. Avoid using these as everyday shoes and use them sparingly. Choose well-cushioned shoes to help your feet absorb shock and, of course, are much more comfortable. And make sure you replace athletic shoes often as the soles tend to compress within a few months.  

Everyone’s feet are different

You may have flat feet, high arches, or normal feet. If you feel your footwear is causing back pain, seek out a podiatrist for more personalized shoe recommendations. You may also want to see a chiropractor like Chiropractix to help with current spine adjustment and alignment needs from your choice of shoes. They will also help investigate other causes of your back pain. So, when thinking of footwear choices, use your head over heels to safeguard your spine.

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