Most people with back pain draw the conclusion that there must be a problem with their spine. But back pain can be caused by a whole host of issues, including what you’re wearing on your feet. Feet form the foundation for your body and play a critical role in helping you maintain balance while standing, walking and running. When your shoes don’t provide the type of support your feet need, the result can be back pain.

While any improperly fitted shoes can cause back pain, high heels are without doubt the biggest culprit. Heels – especially those exceeding 1.5 to 2 inches – cause your body to assume an unnatural posture, forcing your chest forward and causing your pelvis to tilt toward the front. As a result, the natural S-curve of the spine is thrown out of alignment, and your back muscles are placed under considerable stress as they try to keep your body stable. In some cases, your spine can become “out of whack,” even causing nerve pain that can extend from the back through the leg.

Eliminating heels altogether can help eliminate shoe-related back pain as well as discomfort that can occur in your legs and feet. For many women, though, the idea of giving up heels entirely is out of the question. If you feel you must wear heels, try following these tips to minimize your risk of lower back pain:

  • Try not to wear heels for a long period of time.
  • Alternate wearing heels with wearing flats to give your back and leg muscles some “time off” from the pressures and musculoskeletal stresses exerted by heels.
  • Opt for heels with a maximum height of two inches.
  • Ditch heels with pointed toes that can crowd your foot and multiply the muscle strain on your legs and back.
  • Stretch your calf muscles before wearing heels and throughout the day if possible.

Don’t wear heels but still have back pain? Call the Microsurgical Spine Center at 800-890-1964, to schedule your consultation today!