Most women don’t realize there may be a connection between certain types of fashion and back health. However, some of the fashion choices you make on a regular basis could be contributing to spine-related aches and pains. As you plan your wardrobe and fine-tune your personal style, consider being mindful of a few fashion trends that may be affecting your spine.
1. Skinny Jeans
As the name implies, skinny jeans are designed to fit snugly around the waist, thighs, hips, and calves, and the added pressure on these parts places extra stress on the joints when moving and sitting. If you’re in the habit of sticking your wallet or phone in one of your pockets, you could be placing enough pressure on your hips and lower back to affect spinal alignment.
2. Heavy Jewelry
Adorning your neck in chains and heavy necklaces may seem like a great way to enhance your preferred style, but you could also be placing too much stress on tendons, muscles, and joints that support your neck. Instead, opt for lighter pieces that provide a similar look without the excessive weight.
3. High Heels
A recent study on high heels found that this footwear choice contributes to trunk instability, balance issues, knee and ankle issues, and lower back and neck pain. Specifically, the study linked low back pain to high heel wearing in women between 20 and 29 years of age, although anyone can be affected by the change in alignment caused by elevated heels. If you don’t want to give up your high heels, opt for those less than three inches in heel height.
4. Large Handbags
It’s easy to get into the habit of carrying large or oversized handbags since you can lug around so much stuff at once. However, consistently carrying large handbags on one shoulder could affect your spine’s alignment enough to cause it to curve excessively. If you already have existing back pain from other issues, oversized bags may make your symptoms worse. On a related note, be wary of how heavy your purse is.
5. Side Ponytails
Wearing your hair off to one side could cause you to tilt your head to the side with the most hair. Even if this tilt isn’t noticeable, it could affect your cervical spine. Consistent head tilting sometimes contributes to wry neck (torticollis), a painfully twisted or tilted neck that may result in debilitating pain.
6. Body-Contouring Skirts
Skirts that contour to your form may produce the desired shape you want. However, you’ll also be limiting your movement at the same time since form-fitting skirts are designed to keep the knees together. The resulting changes to the way you walk could strain your back enough to contribute to issues with your spine’s muscles and discs.
If making some adjustments to your fashion preferences doesn’t ease your back, neck, or radiating nerve pain, see your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon. Once the source of your discomfort is identified, it will be easier to know what steps to take to avoid aggravating your spine and its discs and supporting muscles. Getting regular exercise and watching what you eat are additional efforts you can make to keep your spine as healthy as possible.
If you’re experiencing chronic back or neck pain due to a fashion choice or another reason, make an appointment with Dr. Hyun Bae at The Spine Institute to determine if you might need minimally invasive spine surgery. Los Angeles residents can put their trust in Dr. Bae and his team of expert surgeons to diagnose the source of their pain and find the most effective way to alleviate the pain. To schedule an in-person evaluation, call 310-828-7757 today.