Shoes For Lower Back Pain

English: A pair of high heeled shoe with 12cm ...

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When it comes to diagnosing the cause of your back pain, one of the first things you should consider is your shoes. It is helpful to know why some shoes give lower back pain and others help to protect your back.

A pain free back is one that is helped by good posture and a correct ear, shoulder and hip alignment. The spine has two natural curves, one located from the base of the head to the shoulders and the other within the upper back and base of spine region. These curves should be maintained when standing straight with the weight distributed evenly through the feet.

By adding shoes, especially high- heeled ones, the body instantly readjusts itself in order to remain balanced. Pressure increases on the forefoot, the lower part of the body leans forward and the upper body then leans backwards to establish balance. This immediately puts it out of correct alignment.

Poor Posture Alignment And Lower Back Pain

Adding movement also leaves the body struggling to balance and causes some of the muscles to work harder than they should do. The hip flexors and knee muscles work especially hard. By leaning forward to balance, the forward curve of the lower back decreases and over time this poor alignment can cause overuse of muscle and lower back pain.

High heel wearers who suffer from lower back pain should restrict the wearing of heels to special occasions and a heel height of 1-½ inches is the maximum recommended.  However high heels cannot be blamed for all lower back pain. Another problem lies within the shape of the foot and pronation.

Pronation is the natural and perfectly normal inward roll of the foot when walking or running. After the heel makes contact with the ground the arch collapses like a spring and then the toe pushes the foot off to begin another step.

In some individuals, under pronation occurs because the foot does not roll inward enough absorb shock adequately due to a high foot arch, lacking in tractability.  Instead, some of this shock moves up through the legs and pelvis to the lower back and over time can create pain in that region.

Over pronation is just the opposite, with a low foot arch and straight feet. The foot rolls inwards disproportionately causing the lower leg and knee to rotate inwards and creating strain on the lower body including the lower back.

Inappropriate Shoes Leads To Lower Back Pain

To resolve the issues of over and under pronation and relieve back pain, appropriate shoes should be worn. Those who under pronate need flexible shoes with additional cushioning to cushion the shock of the feet hitting the ground, especially when walking or running long distances or walking on hard surfaces.

Straight shoes are best for under pronation problems. Over pronators need supportive shoes with arch and heel support to prevent the feet from rolling inwards. These can be expensive, however it is possible to fit ordinary shoes with orthotic insoles especially designed for this problem.  Choosing curved shoes will help with over pronation.

Poorly fitting or inadequate footwear is not always the cause of lower back pain but it can exacerbate it, so if back pain gets worse it may be worth looking at how some shoes affect your posture and may be the cause of your back pain.