Whether they are standard gym shoes or daily dress shoes, it takes time to break them in. Once they are broken in, it’s tough to get rid of them. The truth is, if you are suffering from low back pain (LBP), your footwear can have a big impact on your day-to-day life.
When we are standing or walking, the foot and ankle are the foundation. Just like sound construction has a sound foundation, our body needs a good foundation for dynamic stability. If the foundation becomes unstable everything above can begin to falter. This can contribute to LBP, amongst other joint conditions of the lower extremities.
Certainly not all LBP cases can be traced back to poor footwear, but it’s a place to start when conservatively treating LBP. First, take a look at the wear pattern on the bottom of your shoe. Are there any differences? Keep in mind your wear pattern maybe different than someone else’s. Basically, you want to see symmetrical wear pattern on both shoes. Next, examine the cushioning. There should be only a few “wrinkles” in the foam of your athletic shoes. If the sole looks like a smashed marshmallow, then the shoe might be worn out.
If you see an abnormal wear pattern in your shoes, it may be in your best interest to consult your doctor or physical therapist. They can perform a detailed examination of your foot and ankle to check for any abnormalities. A thorough evaluation of your gait mechanics can also be correlated to the findings during your examination. In many cases, being fitted for the proper athletic or dress shoe can help your condition. In a few cases, custom orthotics maybe indicated to correct any misalignment.
About The Author: Jeremy W. Przybylo, PT, DPT, DMT is the Prairie Spine and Pain Institute’s lead physical therapist. He is a key component of our integrated care program. Jeremy works one-on-one with patients to perform an initial evaluation that allows him to design a comprehensive treatment program tailored to each individual. He typically works with patients weekly, utilizing a combination of hands on manual therapeutic techniques and a scientific approach to rehabilitative exercise.