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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Are Your Shoes Causing Your Back Pain And Sciatica? Here Are 8 Ways That They Can!

Posted by Illinois Back Institute on Mon, May 15, 2017 @ 04:53 PM

shoesBack and Sciatica pain can develop first at your feet and move up from there. So it is needless to say that the kind of shoes you are wearing can have a big effect on your pain. Ill-fitting or non-supportive shoes can cause changes to the way you walk, which can begin a chain reaction of events. For instance, it can cause your legs and feet to adjust their movements to compensate, which can cause your pelvis to tilt forward. This places a lot more pressure on the lower back and can greatly increase back and sciatica pain.

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Here are 8 ways that your shoes may be causing or adding to your back and sciatica pain:

  • Your shoes don't fit. Any shoe that does not fit like it should can throw off your body's balance. If your shoe is too big, too small, too long, too short, wide, tight, or whatever, get ones that fit properly.
  • Your shoes do not provide any support. Support is crucial for your feet and back, especially if you walk a lot. The arch of your feet need to be supported and cushioned to reduce impact.
  • You are not wearing the right kind of shoe for whatever activity you are doing. Certain types of shoes are designed for certain things. For instance, running shoes are designed with extra support and "shock absorbers" to help protect your feet while running.
  • Your feet have changed but you still have the same shoes. Shoes should be replaced often, even if they are still in good shape. People's feet change sizes as they age, and over the years feet may broaden and arches may change or fall. Make sure to have your feet measured by a professional every time to find any changes to your foot size.
  • You do not get custom shoes, even if your doctor says you need them. A lot of doctors or back specialists may recommend buying custom fit shoes to help with your sciatica or back pain. Shoes can be expensive, and custom fit ones can cost a bit more than normal ones. But when it comes to the health of your feet and back, paying a little extra is worth it.
  • You do not shop for shoes in the afternoon. Your feet are at their largest in the afternoon, so that is the best time to go shopping. Otherwise your shoes might be too tight in the mornings and evenings.
  • You do not buy shoes with sufficient toe room. Many people buy shoes because they look good or fit well enough, but there may not be enough toe room at the front of the shoe. If your toes do not have room to move, it can affect the way you walk and could add to your back and sciatica pain.
  • You do not get orthotics if you need them. Orthotics are like systems of padding added or built in to shoes to help restore the foot's natural alignment. This can greatly help in preventing or relieving problems resulting from poor posture and an unbalanced gait, like back pain and sciatica.


If you are one of the many people whose gait is unbalanced, you could end up with sciatica or lower back pain, even with supportive shoes. Some of the problems that can occur include flat feet, fallen arches, or placing too much weight on the outside or inside of your feet. Sometimes this problem is so slight that people do not even realize it until back pain and other issues begin.

To find out if you have an unbalanced gait, get a pair of old shoes that you've worn for a while and check how the sole is worn. Walking shoes tend to wear out more on the heel and running shoes in the middle of the foot, but if the soles of your shoes are worn out more in other areas it may mean your gait is unbalanced.


At the Illinois Back Institute we strive to educate people as much as possible about their back, neck, and sciatica pain, because it has been proven that the more people know about their pain the more likely they will be to get rid of it!

Our 9 Step Solution specializes in treating the causes of back pain and sciatica. Are you ready to put an end to your pain? Schedule a Free Consultation by calling us at 844-408-0462 or click here!


Disclaimer: The content on this web site is for information purposes only and should never be used as the basis for diagnosis or treatment. We always recommend consulting a qualified professional before embarking on any form of self treatment or rehabilitation.

All content is protected by the usual copyright laws and cannot be used, stolen or reproduced for any purpose without Illinois Back Institute permission. Please feel free to call about anything although we are unable to give advice on any specific injuries or conditions over the phone.