It’s easy to assume that bad footwear will only hurt your feet, but it can quickly create a domino effect hitting other parts of the body. Unsupported shoes impact your foot position, which impacts your posture, which impacts your spine and back muscles.
For example, high heels put pressure on the balls of your feet and push your legs forward — to compensate for the shift in weight the upper-body tilts backward. The balancing act changes your straight up-and-down posture, forcing you to arch your lower back and to stick your pelvis forward. The position strains the spine and the lower back muscles.
Flat shoes like flip flops also lead to back pain because they offer no arch-support or grip whatsoever. The design changes your gait by forcing you to put more weight onto the outside edges of your foot in place of an unsupported heel. The weight disbursement alters the rotation of your legs while walking, putting more stress onto the lower spine.
The first step to alleviating your back pain is to get rid of your unsupported shoes. Our store carries a variety of orthopaedic boots, sandals and sneakers specially designed by foot care professionals.
Another way to tackle your back pain is to get orthotic inserts for your shoes — these will not work with certain styles, like flip flops. One of the clearest signs you need custom orthotics is that you are experiencing chronic pain in your feet, ankles, legs, hips or lower back. They are widely used to alleviate back pain, realign the spinal column and reinforce good posture.
Orthotics are inserts that you can slide inside of your shoes to ensure additional support, stability, cushioning, and improve functional capacity. For optimal results, you can have the inserts customized to your foot size, shape and arch.
As a bonus, custom orthotics can help people with foot problems and foot pain. Anyone living with bunions, Plantar Fasciitis and heel spurs will appreciate these medical-grade devices. If you want to learn more info about common foot conditions and how orthotics can improve your gait by correcting any abnormalities exhibited by them, explore our musculoskeletal conditions page or talk to one of our chiropodists in-person.
If your back is aching right now, the best thing you can do is remove any footwear that could be the source of the pain. Some simple home remedies for back pain are cold and hot therapies — start by addressing the pain with a cold compress, then use a hot water bottle on the same area two days later. The cold will combat pain and swelling. Heat will improve blood circulation and relax tightness.
If the pain is severe enough to keep you in bed for longer than a few hours or if it has you cancelling your plans for the next day, you should see a doctor. Sharp and intense back pain is not going to be caused by your footwear, but it can be exacerbated by it. The last thing you want when you have a slipped disc or a pulled muscle is an unsupported pair of shoes.