Back pain, including sciatica pain, can develop from the feet up--that’s why supportive shoes are so important. Non-supportive, ill-fitting shoes can cause changes to your gait. When your feet and legs adjust their movements to compensate for shoe and foot problems, your pelvis may tilt forward, for example. This increases the curvature of the spine, placing excess pressure on the lower back and the sciatic nerve.
Change your shoes (and shoe-buying habits) for back pain relief
- Wear shoes that fit. Any shoe that’s too wide, too big, too long, too short, too tight or too small can throw off the body’s intricate balance.
- Wear shoes that provide support. It’s great to save money, but if shoe’s you’re considering purchasing are thin-soled, for example, don’t risk your health by buying them. Your arch should be supported and your feet cushioned to reduce impact.
- Wear the right shoe for the right activity. Going running? Get a shoe designed to support your feet while running. Well designed running shoes will have built-in “shock absorbers” to help protect and support your feet when you run.
- Wear shoes that fit you now. Feet may broaden over the years and arches may change or fall. Have your feet measured by a professional and purchase shoes that fit your current size.
- Replace shoes often, as soon as the soles begin to wear down.
- Invest in custom fit shoes, especially if your back specialist determines your sciatica pain is caused or worsened by foot problems.
- Shop for shoes in the afternoon, when your feet are slightly larger.
- Select a shoe size that gives you sufficient toe room at the front of the shoe.
- Get orthotics if you need them. Orthotics are a system of foot support built in to (or added to) shoes to assist in restoring the foot's natural, neutral alignment. This helps prevent or relieve problems that can result form an unbalanced gait or poor posture, like lower back and sciatica pain.
Want to know what kind of shoe would be perfect for you and your back pain? Check below!
This shoe has it all. A clean and sleek look as well as it meets most of the basic criteria when looking for a quality shoe to help relieve back pain. This shoe has an insole technology that allows the perfect balance between "bounce back" and cushion in every step. This shoe is also designed to allow movement in mulitiple planes so that the foot can freely transition through the gait cycle. And to top it all off, this shoe is light weight and durable. Finally, this shoe was rated by 221 customers and was given 3.5 stars.
This shoe meets all the requirements when looking for a quality shoe. With its DuoMac and Trusstic technology this shoe provides maximum comfort while it actually helps form your arches and makes them stronger, which will help reduce back pain. On top of that, this shoe has an ortholite sock liner and a breathable mesh to insure that your feet are as comfortable as possible while walking or running long distances. Lastly, This shoe has been rated by 637 customers and was given 4.4 stars.
If you’re one of many people whose gait is not completely balanced, you could end up with low back pain or sciatica pain, even in supportive shoes. You may have foot problems such as flat feet or fallen arches, or you may walk placing too much weight on the outside edge of your feet (supination) or on the insides (possible overpronation). If the problem is slight, you may not even realize it--until back pain and other issues begin.
To find out if your gait is unbalanced, get a pair of shoes you’ve owned and worn for a while. Check to see if the sole is more worn in one area or another. Walking shoes normally show more wear on the heel and running shoes show more wear on the middle of the foot. You may need to get more supportive shoes, add arch supports, lifts or another orthotic device.
Find out if your feet are causing your back problems
Whether your shoe's soles show uneven wear or not, it’s wise to see your back specialist for sciatica or back pain. S/he can diagnose the root of the problem and may send you to a podiatrist if necessary. If your posture needs correction, your back specialist or physical therapist can give you pointers on proper posture and specific exercises to improve your body mechanics and help balance your gait.
If you have back pain, see an expert at Illinois Back Institute for evaluation. Learn about safe and natural treatments to eliminate back pain, including Functional Disc Rehydration™. Book your free consultation with a back specialist today.