Summer is a time when you can enjoy wearing more casual clothing, and flats are often the go-to footwear choice for people who love feeling fresh air on their toes. However, you should be aware that wearing those cute sandals may not be as comfortable as it seems. When you plan on wearing flat shoes for more than a couple of hours, be aware of the ways they could contribute to spine pain.
Lack of Proper Arch Support
Although your spine appears to be a long way from your feet, the forces created during walking travel all the way up the legs and to the back. Your posture also affects your level of back pain, and paying attention to the support offered by the soles of a pair of shoes can impact how you walk and stand. Flat shoes simply do not offer enough arch support to keep your spine in proper alignment. They also do not support the heels or balls of the feet where some people tend to place most of their weight. Have your posture and feet assessed to determine what types of support you need in a sole. If you still insist on wearing sandals, you can often find fashionable styles that offer more support than the average pair of flip-flops.
Lead to an Altered Gait
Flat-bottomed shoes may feel good at first since they tend to provide more freedom than winter boots. However, they could eventually add up to spinal pain since you have to alter your gait to keep the shoes on your feet as you walk. Flat shoes are notorious for being loose on the feet, and you may feel the urge to keep your toes curled to keep the shoes on when you are walking. This generates strain on the muscles that lead from the leg to the spine. It may also cause you to walk unnaturally, even at home. When shoe shopping, it is important to make sure the pair you choose fits nicely on your feet. This ensures you will be able to maintain proper posture without worrying about your shoe falling off.
How to Prevent Injury-Related Spine Pain
Flat shoes are also known for being unstable, and having a sandal fall off or get stuck on something puts you at risk for a serious fall. If you are participating in a sporting event, make sure you wear the appropriate shoes for the type of sport you play. It is also important to wear nonskid shoes if you are walking near a swimming pool or other wet, slippery area. As you search for summer footwear, look for supportive shoes that have treads on the bottom so you can prevent an injury that causes more back pain and leads to the need for a procedure such as artificial disc replacement. Santa Monica residents may want to consider seeing a spine specialist if they are experiencing severe spine-related pain.
At The Spine Institute Center, we specialize in a wide array of fusion and non-fusion procedures, from spinal cord stimulation to kyphoplasty. Santa Monica patients can trust in Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of expert surgeons to help them find a solution for relief. Call The Spine Institute today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an in-person evaluation.