According to Everyday Health wearing the right footwear can really affect your back pain.
They say that you have a number of good choices for shoes designed to ease or reduce symptoms from musculoskeletal complaints involving foot, knee, hip, and back pain, says Kenneth S. Jung, MD, a foot and ankle surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles. “All of these are linked, and the force imparted on the foot is ultimately imparted on the back.”
You’ll be able to find some shoe choices at regular stores, and you’ll need to go to a specialty shop for the more customized ones. The most important thing is to make sure you choose the right shoe for your particular foot type and problem.
One of the most important features to look for is the arch — it should be designed to work with the natural arch of your feet. Generally speaking there are three shapes of foot arch: pronation (low), neutral, and supination (high).
Running shoes are generally designed to address many different issues, with motion control helping pronation, stability for the neutral arch, and cushioned to assist supination arches. Dr. Ahluwalia recommends New Balance 1140, New Balance 1340, and New Balance 1540. He also suggests Brooks Beast anti-pronation shoes for people who are pronators.
“Minimal” shoes are a specialized option to consider. “These shoes are designed to promote the foot striking the ground with the front or middle of the foot rather than the heel,” says Dr. Jung. “This alters the way the foot and the lower extremity contact and interact with the ground.”
Specially designed inserts or insoles can also provide back pain treatment in some cases because they provide extra support.
Prescription orthotics are another kind of specialized shoe. So-called functional orthotics are usually made from plastic or graphite and can treat issues caused by abnormal motion. Another type, called accommodative orthotics, are softer and used more for the support and cushioning needed in painful foot conditions rather than back pain.
Ultimately, the first step to take is a podiatrist visit — with the right diagnosis and recommendations for footwear, it could be the last step you take in pain.