If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day or go for regular walks and runs, you’re far more likely to experience back pain. That’s because the cause of this pain is often a lack of proper support for your feet. Luckily, the solution can be as simple as a new pair of shoes.
The Truth Behind the Pain
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an estimated 80 percent of all U.S. adults will have pain in their lower back during some time in their life. The most notable cause of back pain is postural stress.
When we walk and stand for long periods of time, we add a great deal of pressure to our spines. This pressure then leads to the tightening of our lower back muscles. When the muscles tighten, they begin to spasm, which causes the back pain we feel.
Now that we know why we have back pain, what do we do about it? The solution is simpler than you may think.
Though a great deal of common jobs causes back pain, that is not going to stop us from fulfilling our career duties. For those in retail, food service, or any other on-your-feet job, the solution is often proper support.
A good rule of thumb is the more time you spend standing, the greater the support you will need. For example, a chef who is standing in the kitchen all day would need shoes that provide premium comfort and support.
When working in a kitchen, we demand a lot of our shoes. They must be durable, supportive spill proof, slip-proof, and above all, comfortable. If you work in this industry, this list of the best kitchen shoes 2019 is a good place to start looking for a supportive shoe.
What to Look For in Shoes for Back Pain
When shopping for supportive shoes, the choices can be overwhelming, and it may feel like a gamble to spend top dollar on “the right” brands. To choose the right shoe for you, there are a few things to look for to ensure you pick out a comfortable yet durable shoe to make it through the day.
- Arch Support: Flat shoes like flip-flops and sandals hurt your feet, ankles, and lower back because they’re flat. That’s why when shopping for new shoes to combat back pain, you want a pair that curves to the natural arch of your feet.
- Easy to Clean: From water damage to stains to scratches, it is also important that the shoe is easy to wash. If these are your work shoes, you may even want them to be waterproof to protect your feet from water and spills so that they last longer.
Another common quality you’ll see in shoes designed to alleviate pain is shock absorption. However, there isn’t much research to suggest this extra cushioning in the sole is actually helpful, so it shouldn’t be your top priority.
Instead, consider inserting foot orthotics into a comfortable pair of shoes. These can be bought at the store or custom-made to provide better support, improve your gait, and relieve pressure. Custom foot orthotics will cost you more, but they have been proven to be more effective.
Pain-Free Days Ahead
When spending all your time standing becomes too much, a new pair of shoes or a good pair of orthotic inserts can change your life. When you don’t have back pain, you perform everyday tasks better, feel happier, and save yourself from severe back issues in future. Don’t let pain prevent you from being productive and doing the things you love – talk with a podiatrist to learn more about how you can take care of your back by taking care of your feet.