Your Lower Back Pain Could Be the Result of Ill-Fitting Shoes

Ill-Fitting Shoes, Lower Back Pain, Midtown Foot Care

About 80% of American adults will have low back pain at some point in their lives. If you’re one of them, you may have difficulty working, taking care of your obligations at home, and even enjoying your hobbies and other activities you participate in for fun.

The vast majority of people who have low back pain have what‘s called acute pain, which means that it lasts for less than six weeks and then resolves. A few people develop chronic back pain, which can have serious consequences.

There are a number of causes of lower back pain, and most of them are mechanical -- meaning that they’re caused by some malfunction in how the bones and soft tissues work together. One of the most common causes of low back pain isn’t especially well-known: ill-fitting shoes. Your shoes are critically important to how your spine functions.

Shoes may affect pronation

Consider how your body works when you walk. Your spine, hips, knees, ankles, and feet all work together in a complex process that you probably take for granted. Your feet, especially, perform a series of complicated movements while bearing your entire body weight in order to take just one step.

If your shoes don’t fit well, there’s a good possibility that they’re forcing your feet to move in an inefficient way. The way that your foot moves side to side when you walk is called pronation. Some people are overpronators, some are underpronators, and some have a neutral pronation.

Your shoes can negatively affect your pronation, particularly if you are an over- or underpronator. Correct pronation is important because it’s part of how your body absorbs the shock of each step when you walk or run. Your foot naturally rolls inward just a bit when your heel strikes the ground, then rolls outward as your weight shifts from your heel to your toe.

If you’re an overpronator, your foot rolls a little too far inward with each step, and if you’re an underpronator your foot doesn’t roll inward quite enough. Both can increase the pressure on your lower back. Your shoes can either help or worsen the impact on your spine.

Shoes everyone should avoid

There are some shoes that everyone should avoid. High heels, for example, change the lumbar curve in your spine and change how your weight is centered.

One study found that wearing high heels changes balance, stability, how the muscles in your ankles and knees work, body weight distribution, walking speed, and the muscle activation in your cervical and lumbar spine. Women between the ages of 20 and 29 who wear high heels are a much greater risk of low back pain.

Flip flops, too, are a poor footwear choice, when it comes to low back pain. They offer no support and can alter your natural gait, lessening your body’s natural shock absorption.

If you’re experiencing back pain, you may want to consider booking an appointment here at Midtown Foot Care in New York City. Your pain may be the result of something as simple as an incorrectly fitted shoe. If that’s the case, you could be living a less painful life sooner instead of later. Call our office or click the “request appointment” button to book online.

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