Did you know that lower pack pain can be caused by inadequate footwear? Pain often begins with shoes that are so tight that the foot becomes constricted. It could also be that the once-supportive insole built into your favorite sneakers or orthopedic shoes have passed their prime. You think you are getting full arch support and heel cupping and seemingly out of nowhere comes debilitating back pain. The average lifespan of a pair of orthopedic shoes or orthotic insoles is 6-18 months — depending on the quality of the materials used. Causes of lower back pain can include obesity, standing too long on the feet, bad posture, or insoles/shoes that do not provide enough cushioning and support. If your whole foot — ball, arch, and heel — repeatedly strike the ground without ample support (shock absorbers), a jarring pain will shoot up the leg into the lumbar region of the lower spine and bottom area of the back. Ouch!
Before you hit WebMD and self-diagnose yourself as having arthritis or scoliosis, I would recommend taking a closer look at your kicks first. Pull out the shoes you wear most often. Ask yourself: are these shoes comfortable enough to stand on comfortably for hours at a time? For most women, this is a problem — if they mostly wear high heels. Standing comfortably in heels is virtually impossible. Or maybe it is possible, but I can't walk a half block without breaking an ankle. For your everyday shoes, check the soles. Are the soles visibly worn down? Touch a worn-out looking spot. Does it give to a little pressure at all? If so, you might be able to get a little more mileage out of that shoe, unless the back problems persist. Next, check your shoes for removable insoles. Many athletic and running shoes have this type of insole. Is there any arch support or heel cupping, or are the insoles flimsy and flop all around? Even high-cost running shoes like Nike use flimsy, removable insoles, because engineering a running shoe with useful support would cost a fortune. The idea behind this is, you can simply remove their "factory" insole and replace it with a supportive orthopedic insole.
Here are some insoles and accessories that we recommend for alleviating back pain:
- Heel Cup Inserts: Provides heel support and can improve balance and alignment.
- Spenco Q Factor Womens Cushion Insoles: Shock-absorbing, cradles heel, supports arch, gel technology. This product was designed to help women with proper posture and body alignment.
- Spenco Total Support Insoles: So smooth and supportive it's like walking on a cloud! These sturdy guys will keep you supported from the ball (with a forefoot crash pad), through the supported arch which will keep your heel in place as you walk. They even fit into dress shoes!
Don't wait another day — we need our backs and feet all working harmoniously! If back problems persist after giving insoles a chance, visit your doctor.