Flats, Like Heels, Can Lead To Spine Pain

Category: Spine Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: April 18, 2017

Flats Causing Back Pain

As we mentioned on the blog not too long ago, our fashion choices can play a significant role in the onset of back pain. We noted that skinny jeans and high heels can contribute to spine problems, but heels aren’t the only footwear that can cause problems. Your flats may also lead to back issues if you’re not careful.

Flats Linked To Back Problems

Now that spring has arrived, people are putting their winter footwear back in the closet and pulling out some simpler options. Flats and sandals are always a favorite when the weather warms up, but some types aren’t much better for your back than heels.

“[Flats] certainly are a good alternative to heels,” said Dr. Karen Erickson, a New York City-based chiropractor. “The problem is that if you have to do a bit of walking, there’s not good arch support. They also don’t stay on your feet.”

The second issue is most concerning for your spine. If your opened-backed shoes or sandals require you to scrunch your toes in order to keep them on your feet, you are overstressing your arch and shifting away from a natural gait. When you walk with this unnatural gait for an extended period of time, it’s your spine that bears the brunt of this stress. This can lead to disc problems like a bulging or herniated disc, or lumbar spine pain.

Smart Footwear Choices

In order to keep your spine healthy as spring turns into summer, you want to make some smart choices when it comes to your footwear. For starters, when buying shoes, put them through the “shake test.” Put the shoe on and shake your foot forwards, backwards and side to side. If the shoe remains on your foot, you won’t be curling your toes with each step to keep it on. If it fails the shake test, look for a different shoe.

Similarly, if you know that you are going to be walking a long distance or be on your feet for a great deal of time, opt for a more supportive shoe instead of a simplistic flat. This will help protect your arches and in turn the structures in your spine.

For more information on how your footwear and gait affect your spine, reach out to the medical team at Midwest Spine and Brain Institute. Dr. Sinicropi is more than willing to talk about how your feet and spine are related, so reach out to his office today!

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