Choosing the Right Shoes to Avoid Pain

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Shoes are a fashion choice for many women. High heels, sandals, wedges and flats, there’s a shoe for every outfit and every personality. But if you suffer from chronic back pain, your shoes could be part of the problem. The wrong shoes can cause you to walk improperly and throw off the alignment of the whole body. They can also cause you to put extra weight on your knees, hips and lower back, and force your entire body to work harder. If you want to keep your footwear-related chronic pain at a minimum, these tips can help you choose the right shoes.

 
1.    Get Low.
In the heel, that is. High heels throw off your alignment and change your body’s center of gravity. This can cause stress on the lower back. If you must add height through your shoes, wedges or chunky heels are a better choice than thin stilettos. Both give you a greater surface area, which leads to better support.
 
2.    Give your feet a break.
Don’t wear your heels for hours at a time. If you wear heels to work, bring a pair of flats to throw on during your commute or while running errands at lunch. That brief break can give your feet (and the rest of your body) some much-needed relief.
 
3.    But don’t go too casual.
Flip-flops and slide-on shoes come with their own set of issues. Flip-flop sandals don’t offer much support and put strain on joints and tendons, while slide-on and open-backed shoes require toe gripping, which can lead to tension in your feet.
 
4.    Give your toes some room.
Avoid pointy, narrow toe box shoes. When your toes have less space, more pressure is placed on them and you’re at greater risk for bunions and neuromas. 
 
Walking the wrong way isn’t just hard on your feet; it can eventually lead to back problems like sciatica, degenerative discs and bulging discs.   Try to limit your time in heels and uncomfortable shoes and give your feet the proper support they need to keep your body healthy. If you suffer from chronic back pain, the experts at the Washington Center for Pain Management can create a custom pain treatment plan for you.