The two worst forms of footwear for people with back pain
High heels and flip flops. This is a bottom-up problem: by not providing adequate support for your feet, the instability ripples through the legs and affects the spine, especially the lower back.
- The higher the heel, the more accentuated the arch in your lower back, straining the muscles of the lower back in the process.
- Flip flops don’t anchor your feet, instead letting them slide around in the footbed. This means that the weight of your body is being thrown about, exacerbating conditions such as sciatica.
From a chiropractor’s perspective, high heels and flip flops both fit under the category of flimsy footwear. They may serve an intermediary purpose, but they should never be your go-to shoe.
Flip flops and high heels have the highest coincidence of back pain among footwear
Your footwear has a direct impact on your back pain: flip flops provide no cushion or shock absorption, allowing impact from the foot to travel directly to the vertebrae; high heels force the muscles of your back to work harder and are more likely to cause injury from falling. These forces contribute to spinal misalignment and the development of degenerative conditions including herniated discs and sciatica. Here are some alternative proposals for footwear that fills the same function without harming the spine to the same degree.
- For flip-flop addicts, Crocs and sport sandals with straps are a better alternative.
- For high heel lovers, wedges provide the same stylish lift without destabilizing the foot and forcing the back to work quite as hard.
Improving spinal health habits in small ways
No matter what footwear you choose, there are always ways you can improve your spinal health habits. From mixing up your shoes, to stretching before wearing high heels, to avoiding wearing them for long periods of time, it will always benefit your back if you keep an eye on how you are wearing your shoes. Footwear is a microcosmic example of how we make large changes in your spinal health habits. We can help undo the damage that flip-flops and high heels have caused your spine. If you are interested in improving your spinal health from the bottom-up or the top-down, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.
Athletes put their bodies on the line; we protect them
Whether your sport is high-impact or low, every time you go out on your chosen playing field you are putting your body at risk for injury. While a good deal of our work as chiropractors is centered around preventing injury in the first place, chiropractic is also an effective tool for treating injuries after they happen. Let’s look at some of the most common injuries sustained by athletes and how we treat them at our office.
Common injuries sustained by athletes
Some of the most common injuries sustained by athletes include sprains, strains and tears, all of which can cause pain and prevent you from playing. These injuries are primarily caused by:
- Forceful impact
- Repetitive trauma (think the jarring motion on your joints from running)
- Over-training and fatigue
- Failure to warm-up
How we treat athletic injuries
- Manual adjustment of the spine: to realign the spine, and correct the motion and function of spinal joints.
- Releasing myofascial pain: reducing pain allows you to focus on stretching and strengthening, the factors that matter for rehabilitation.
- Improving circulation: to cycle blood to an injured area, bringing the oxygen and nutrients necessary for repair.
- Spinal mobilization: a passive movement of a segment of the spine to increase range of motion.
- Ice and heat: to stimulate the body’s healing response and further improve circulation.
Your specialist for athletic injuries
If you are suffering from a sports-related injury and are interested in healing it quickly and preventing it from recurring, give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment today. We can help you get back on the playing field and performing better than ever!
You get regular tune-ups for your car but not your body?
The logic appears to be faulty here. People protect the things they love and spend money to care for them, but will often wait until an injury or serious condition develops to seek help for their own body. At our office, we hope to give you some compelling reasons to start thinking differently about the maintenance of your own body!
Your spine is central to your overall health
Thus, having regular checkups performed to determine its overall health is a simple way of maintaining well being. Every movement you make during the day will affect one part of the spine or the other, and many of these movements conspire to move the spinal joints out of alignment, leading to nerve compression and overall bodily dysfunction. The important thing is to listen to your body. Pain is a signal just like the check engine light in your car.
How can problems with your spinal joints cause pain?
First of all, they can bother or impinge upon nearby spinal nerves which interact directly with the brain. This is especially prevalent in people suffering from herniated discs, in which bulging disc material puts pressure on spinal nerves. However, spinal joints being out of alignment most often lead to restrictions in range of motion, which can hamper the effective communication of your central nervous system. This overall imbalance is responsible for painful tightness in the muscles as well as pain that results from sprained ligaments surrounding the vertebral joint.
Tuning up your spine
The good news is that subluxation is effectively corrected with chiropractic adjustments. These are purposeful, sometimes instrument-assisted adjustments that return spinal joints to proper alignment and simultaneously improve nervous system functioning. Don’t let spinal misalignment wreak silent havoc with your life until a serious condition develops. Instead, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today.