Your feet carry your body weight throughout the day. Good footwear that provides plenty of support and cushioning can go a long way in helping your feet stay comfortable – and do wonders for your back too!
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain symptoms can manifest in a number of ways. Mostly it can show up as aching muscles, shooting or stabbing pain, or a burning sensation. This could be accompanied by pain that spreads down your legs or worsens when you bend or twist. The pain could also be worse after exercise or exertion, when you stand or walk, or while you lift something.
How the Wrong Shoe Can Cause Back Pain
Your feet, and especially your heels, are literally what carries you through your day. They take all the strain and impact that you are exposed to as you walk and move around. If there is something wrong with your feet (and that includes wearing the wrong footwear with little to no cushioning), you will likely compensate for that by changing the way you move. This could affect your gait and posture and transfer the pressure and stress to other parts of your body, usually your knees, hips, and back.
Choosing the Right Shoe
A shoe that is right for someone else is not necessarily right for you. That is because everyone’s feet are different. Feet differ in width and have different shaped arches. The right shoe for you is one that fits well in both these areas.
You could have one of three types of arches: high arches causing supination, neutral or normal arches, or low arches causing pronation or flat foot. A shoe that gives you supportive cushioning and motion control can help with most types of arches while providing support to neutral arches and cushion high arches.
Cushioned shoes, especially in the heel (like our KURU footwear with a deep heel cup), can help lower the risk of back pain since it reduces the impact on your body when you walk.
A running shoe or walking shoe with enough cushioning that provides shock absorption, especially for the arches and heel, is a good choice. Along with this, a rubber outsole and orthotic insole can go a long way to help eliminate heel pain, foot pain, and back pain. An orthotic insole is an insert, or removable insole, specially designed to provide the best support for your foot type.
How to Tell If a Shoe Is Good Quality
Here are some features to look at when looking for a good quality shoe:
- A sturdy heel. Hold the shoe in both hands, one hand on the heel around the sole, and the other on the shoe’s upper part, above the heel. Try to move your hands in opposite directions. The heel should not move around. For a shoe that claims to eliminate heel pain, check out Kuru’sAALTO CHUKKA .
- It should be slightly flexible, but not too much. If you hold the shoe, one hand around the toes and the other around the heel, and twist the shoe slightly, it should flex a bit. This will allow for comfortable movement when you walk. However, if the shoe moves too much, it is unlikely to give you the support you need.
- Look at where the shoe naturally bends. A good shoe bends where your toes bend when you push off as you walk. Shoes that do not flex with you could leave you with tired and sore feet, which will transfer pain to your back.
- Arch support. The right shoe should have an insole that provides the proper support and cushioning for your kind of foot arch. You could consider adding a custom orthotic or specialized shoe insert to give you adequate support. A flat shoe or neutral shoe that doesn't support your arch could result in a foot problem like plantar fasciitis, which will undoubtedly cause you back pain.
- A roomy toe box. Footwear with roomy (not large) toe boxes let your toes move around naturally. It also gives them enough space to lay comfortably when you are not moving around. Toe boxes that are too tight could cause various foot issues, including corns or even bunions. We know it can be hard to find shoes with roomy toe boxes, let alone shoes that look good too; that’s why we’ve created the ATOM sneaker.
- Comfort. Above all else, look for a shoe that is comfortable as soon as you put them on. More than that, look for a good-quality shoe that will not only be comfortable and give adequate cushioning when you buy it but also after wearing it for a while.
Relieving Your Back Pain
Back pain does not always need to be corrected with surgery. There are several ways that you can treat your back pain naturally. These include:
- Spinal manipulation. A force of specific strength and in a precise direction is applied to the area of your spine where you are experiencing pain or discomfort. This is usually done by a chiropractor, although other medical professionals could also do this like a physical therapist.
- Acupuncture. This is a traditional Chinese practice where the practitioner inserts needles into specific points in your body to alleviate an ailment.
- Weight loss. Your back supports your body, and being overweight could increase the pressure placed on your back and spine as you move around. Maintaining a healthy weight could help you maintain a healthy back and spine.
- Anti-inflammatory diet. Your diet could influence the amount of inflammation that you have in your body. This inflammation could cause chronic pain. You could consider limiting foods that are shown to cause inflammation while increasing foods to help control inflammation.
- Focus on your posture. Your back pain could be caused by incorrect posture. When you aren’t sitting or standing correctly, you could compress and place strain on your spine. The correct posture holds your spine in its natural position, taking pressure off of your vertebrae.
- Exercise. Regular exercises help maintain a healthy body weight and strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints that provide support for vulnerable areas.
Other Treatment Options
Other treatment options for back pain include over-the-counter and prescribed pain medication and surgery.
Whether you are looking for a men’s dress shoe, therapeutic shoe, or athletic shoe, the most crucial factor should be a comfortable shoe. The wrong shoe could cause foot problems, while the right shoe with enough cushioning can provide maximum comfort and relieve pressure on your heels, feet, and back.