Are you suffering from back pain? Did you know that your shoes and your posture may contribute to it? Orthopedic specialists and podiatrists believe improper footwear changes your gait and exerts undue pressure on your heels, arches, and forefoot.
Let’s talk about the right shoes for the healthiest spine possible and where you can go for comprehensive orthopedic care in Fairless Hills, PA.
Low, But Not Flat, Heels
Proper weight distribution on your feet impacts how well your ankles, knees, hips, and spine feel and function. Place too much pressure and body weight on your forefoot, and your gait changes, particularly at the ankles.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends shoes with heels no higher than one to two inches. You’ll avoid undue pressure on your feet, lower back pain, and possible spinal misalignments (subluxations), too. Be sure those heels are wide, not narrow, as in stiletto heels.
Finally, remember that those stylish three- to four-inch heels change your center of gravity, push your hips and spine too far forward and cause both foot and back pain. Posture is not just a matter of head up and chest out. Good posture also relates to optimal weight distribution in the lower extremities.
No Cheap Sneakers or Flip-flops
Both kinds of footwear provide little to no arch support. In fact, flip-flops often feature what doctors call a negative heel structure–that is, the back of the flip-flop is actually lower than the front.
These structural defects provide zero shock absorption. Wear high-top sneakers or flip-flops all day, and over time, your back will become misaligned.
Arch Support–Get the Right Kind
The right arch support in your shoes absorbs the shock and pressures of walking and standing, particularly on hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. However, beware of retail insoles that are too soft (thick memory foam) or hard. Something in between is best.
Change Your Running Shoes
The rule of thumb is to get new running shoes every 300 miles. You will reduce your risk of ankle sprains and back pain due to poor shock absorption.
Orthotics in Your Shoes
Customized shoe inserts can provide your feet with proper cushioning and protection from traumatic injury. Semi-rigid materials keep your gait, and therefore, your spine, properly aligned.
It’s best to consult a foot doctor or orthopedic physician about custom orthotics. Store-bought versions are not individualized to specific patient foot structure and gait dynamics and waste your money.
Orthopedic Urgent Care in Fairless Hills, PA
At Patient Care Now Urgent Care, we deliver many orthopedic services, including fracture and sprain care. We can recommend ways to select proper footwear and durable medical equipment, such as braces and taping, to reduce problems in the back and lower extremities.
If you need immediate help with a non-emergent orthopedic issue, please visit our Fairless Hills facility for a complete evaluation. We are open seven days a week, including holidays, and we always have a board-certified emergency physician onsite.