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Effects of Footwear on Your Spine

If you’ve been experiencing back pain, you might be surprised to learn that your choice of footwear could be the culprit.

Are Your Shoes Causing Your Back Pain?

Everything from the height of a heel to the sole of a shoe can impact the way your spine is aligned — and if you’re a high-heel lover, you’re especially at risk for back pain. Your feet support you all day, absorbing every step you take and supporting the weight of your body. It’s important to choose a pair of shoes that not only support your feet but your spine as well! 

Here’s what to look for in a pair of shoes to make sure your spine stays healthy and pain-free. 

Arch support

Arch support helps to stabilize your feet, legs, and spine, and ensures that your spine is in proper alignment. If you aren’t sure what type of arch your feet have, this chart can help. If your shoes don’t have adequate arch support, your feet won’t be able to absorb the impact of your steps, which can cause strain on your spine. A chiropractor will be able to tell you if you may need additional arch support, achieved by over-the-counter or custom inserts. 

Cushioned soles

As comfortable and easy as flip-flops are, they’re some of the worst shoes you can wear due to their lack of support. You should look for shoes that have a cushioned sole to help absorb the impact of your steps. Like having proper arch support, some people may need inserts that provide the right support and cushion to their feet. Visiting a chiropractor can help you determine if you may need additional cushioning for your shoes. 

The right fit

Shoes that are too big or too small can cause problems with your balance and are probably downright uncomfortable for you to wear. When you walk, your heel should not slip or slide out of the shoe, and your toes should have about half an inch of space between them and the front of the shoe. Shoes that don’t fit correctly impact your balance, which impacts your spinal alignment causing discomfort and pain. 

Curious about what the worst shoes for spine health are? 

The worst shoes to wear

They might be your favorite for a fancy night out, but high heels are the No. 1 worst shoe to wear for your spine. One thing that’s essential to your spine health? Your posture. When you wear high heels, your center of gravity shifts due to the heels pushing your pelvis, chest, and lower back forward. This makes it near impossible to maintain good posture while wearing heels. Now, wearing high heels every now and then most likely won’t cause irreparable damage, but if you’re a high-heel lover, consider wearing heels that are two inches in height or shorter, and heels with a chunkier wedge rather than a stiletto. 

If you’ve been experiencing any sort of back pain, it might be worth examining your choice of footwear. A visit to a chiropractor can help diagnose the cause of your pain, as well as treat it. Visit one of the chiropractic professionals at Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic if you’re experiencing any back or neck pain. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call a Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic location or request an appointment online today.