Back, hip, and leg pain can all be attributed to your feet. The feet take on the first impact when weight bearing and can affect your posture. There are several key ways to keep back pain at bay by what you wear on your feet. Here is what to look for in pain free footwear.
The Right Size Heel
If you don’t have the right size heel, your posture will change and your center of gravity alters. The most comfortable heel length for your spinal alignment is a slight heel, just around an inch in height. Studies show that a heel height higher than this over activates the muscles in the back and spine. Shoes with a heel height more than 2 inches can increase pain.
It is also important to avoid very flat shoes or soles. This can create what is referred to as a “negative heel” where the heel is actually lower than the forefoot. This creates excessive hip rotation when walking, so these types of footwear should only be worn for short periods of time.
Proper Cushion and Support
The right amount of cushion will help provide shock absorption for your feet. Heels with cork or rubber are more ideal than hard soled shoes to absorb shock. Shoes made for running often have a good amount of cushioning to withstand a lot of impact, so many times these shoes can help prevent back pain.
While footwear should have cushion it is also important that it can provide support. To help keep a proper spinal alignment and posture your foot should be in a neutral position. Depending on your foot type, you may need more arch support to keep the feet in this position. Look for a good structured shoe that supports the arch and doesn’t let you foot lean in when standing.
Pain Free Footwear That Fits the Activity
Wearing the wrong footwear for the activity can often times exacerbate back pain. When on your feet for long periods of time, or doing a lot of walking it’s important to have footwear to support this. This might seem apparent when exercising, but you should also take theme parks, shopping, and work into account for times when you are on your feet.
You should also be aware of the surface you are on when it comes to pain free footwear. Man made surfaces such as concrete and asphalt will require more support and cushion for your feet. Flat shoes like flip flops and minimalist shoes might be ok for short periods of time if you are on soft grass or sand. You should avoid these types of shoes when on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
Want to find out more about how you can keep your back pain in check? Contact the Silver Chiropractic and Wellness today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shane Silver.