If you’ve ever come home and kicked off your shoes with relief, you’ll know that footwear can have a big impact on your comfort. But, did you know it can also cause bigger problems? Here, we’ll explain how footwear can affect your posture, and what you can do to prevent long-term pain or damage.
Why posture matters
The right posture is more than just good etiquette. By sitting up straight and not slouching, you’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 muscles and joints, give us aches and pains, and increase the risk of sporting injuries.
How shoes can help (or hinder) our posture
You might not think to link back pain with your shoes, but everything is connected. The curve of the foot supports the curve of the spine, so as well as protecting our feet, our shoes should provide support so that we can stand and walk in alignment. You might choose special, well-fitting shoes for this purpose, or you could buy orthopaedic insoles to help with this.
Conversely, shoes offering bad support can make our posture worse. If our feet are not well supported, this can lead to bad posture, back pain and even 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 you’re not sure).
On top of all that, the wrong shoes can also cause corns, nail issues, joint problems and collapsed arches.
What you can do: first steps to 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)
- a slight heel
- a cushioned insole
Of course, it’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 issues
If you’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 to assess your posture, check for any problems and recommend exercises to help you get your body back in alignment. Pilates 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 lifestyle and make long-term changes. Contact us on 01582 761448 to book an appointment today.