If youâ€™ve ever come home and kicked off your shoes with relief, youâ€™ll know that footwear can have a big impact on your comfort. But, did you know it canÂ alsoÂ cause bigger problems? Here, weâ€™ll explain how footwear can affect your posture,Â and what you can do to prevent long-termÂ pain orÂ damage.
Why posture matters
The right posture is more than just good etiquette. By sitting up straight and not slouching, youâ€™re actually keeping your weight centred, which helps your balance and can also improve your sporting performance.
Sometimes, we get into bad habits with our posture. If we repeatedly slouch or slump rather than spreading our weight evenly, this can put too much pressure on our musclesÂ and joints, give us aches and pains,Â and increase the risk of sporting injuries.
How shoes can help (or hinder) our posture
You might not think to linkÂ back painÂ with your shoes, but everything is connected.Â The curve of the foot supports the curve of the spine, so as well as protecting our feet,Â ourÂ shoes should provide support so that we can stand and walk in alignment. You might choose special, well-fittingÂ shoes for this purpose, or you could buy orthopaedic insoles to help with this.
Conversely, shoes offering bad support can make our posture worse.Â IfÂ our feet areÂ not well supported,Â thisÂ can lead to bad posture, back pain andÂ evenÂ long-term damage. High heels or other flimsy, strappy shoes do not give us the support we need. You should also be sure to buy shoes in the right size (get your feet measured if youâ€™re not sure).
On top of all that, the wrong shoes can also cause corns, nail issues, joint problemsÂ andÂ collapsed arches.
What you can do:Â firstÂ stepsÂ toÂ better posture
Next time you choose a pair of shoes, think about how they will support you as you go about your day. Opt for shoes with:
- good support all around the foot
- a fastening (so you can adjust to fit perfectly)
- aÂ slight heel
- aÂ cushioned insole
Of course, itâ€™s not always practical to walk around in sensible shoes, even when your feet would beg to differ. If you have to wear heels to work or for an evening out, take a pair of trainers with you, to wear on your way home.
Physiotherapy for back and joint issuesÂ
If youâ€™ve been suffering with back or joint issues for some time, you may not be able to fix them just by changing your shoes. A good physiotherapist will be able toÂ assess your posture, check forÂ any problems and recommendÂ exercises to help youÂ getÂ your bodyÂ back in alignment.Â PilatesÂ is another very effective way to correct poor posture, increase strength and improve flexibility.
Need some help with posture, back pain or joint pain? Our physiotherapists take a holistic approach to help you improve your lifestyleÂ and make long-term changes.Â Contact usÂ onÂ 01582 761448Â to book an appointment today.