October is National Chiropractic Health Month, and this year’s theme is “Keep Moving”. The American Chiropractic Association, its members, and doctors of chiropractic nationwide will encourage people to “keep moving” and strive to add more movement into their day. According to the American Chiropractic Association, lack of physical activity and movement can lead to weight gain, achy joints, and other musculoskeletal conditions. The answer to enhancing our overall physical health and stamina is movement! A crucial aspect of movement is wearing the correct footwear to ensure a healthy back.
Can Your Shoes Affect Your Back?
There are many factors that can lead to back pain. Perhaps you have overexerted yourself, or maybe you sit for many hours during the day, or you could have an underlying health condition. It is, however, worth considering whether your choices in footwear are contributing to your back pain. Which types of shoes are the main culprits of back pain? You may automatically think of high heels, and yes, they can cause pain. However, other types of shoes can cause pain as well. According to Everyday Health, a shoe that is too hard or too soft can cause a problem. It is best to avoid shoes that are “totally hard” because you always want to have some shock absorption in your footwear. An example of a type of shoe that falls into this category is a typical dress shoe due to its lack of cushion.
On the other hand, (or should we say the other foot) a too soft shoe can also cause harm. Shoes with memory foam or an air cushion may not provide the right type of support along with their cushioning. Another poor footwear choice that lacks support is casual sneakers that are flat and narrow. Additionally, flip-flops, while ok for a quick stroll down the beach, are not recommended for all-day wear. Most flip-flops actually lower your heel below your toes. The sole of a flip-flop is not thick enough to absorb the shock of each step. Flip-flops as well as loafers, ballerina-type shoes, and any others with a flat sole will rotate your pelvis in a way that worsens back pain.
What Kind of Shoes Do Chiropractors Recommend?
There is no such thing as an overall perfect shoe recommendation because every pair of feet is different. The deciding factor in getting as close as possible to your perfect match is first determining your personal foot type. Are your feet normal, flat, or high-arched?
- Normal Feet have a normal-sized arch and leave a wet footprint that has a flare but shows the forefoot and heel connected by a broad band. A normal foot lands on the outside of the heel and rolls slightly inward to absorb shock. The best shoes for normal feet would be stability shoes with a slightly curved shape.
- Flat Feet have a low arch and leave a print that looks like the entire sole of the foot. This typically indicates an overpronated foot- one that strikes on the outside of the heel and rolls excessively inward. The best shoes for flat feet are motion-control shoes or high-stability shoes with firm mid-soles.
- High-Arched Feet leave a print showing a very narrow band or no band at all between the forefoot and heel. Because the foot doesn’t rotate enough, it is usually not an effective shock absorber. The best shoes for high-arched feet are cushioned shoes with plenty of flexibility to encourage foot motion.
Total Chiropractic Care Can Help You
Here at Total Chiropractic Care, we are always ready to help you. If you have back pain that you think is related to your footwear, be sure to consult with your chiropractor when determining your foot type. We are ready to help you determine your specific foot type, assess your gait, and suggest the best shoe match for your chiropractic health. Contact us today!