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Do My Shoe Choices Affect Chronic Pain Conditions?

Last updated: 04-28-2020

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Do My Shoe Choices Affect Chronic Pain Conditions?

Many patients suffering from chronic back pain or chronic knee pain may be able to narrow the cause of increasingly worse pain symptoms to their shoes. Even though a shoe probably isn’t the source of their chronic pain, it may be a contributing factor of back pain and knee pain. 

The feet are the base of the skeletal system. If the position of the feet is changed, the alignment of the entire body could be changed. Chronic back pain patients know that if the spine bends the wrong way, it can irritate the nerves and cause more pain. Choosing the right shoes may be key to soothing pain for fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, and other patients who are sensitive to pain on their feet, knees, and back.

In order to find the best shoe choices for chronic pain conditions, it’s best to start by looking at the worst choices. Heels are not the best footwear choice for our patients, as the frequently narrow shape compresses the feet into a smaller space. The worst part about them, though, is that they push the legs and hips forward so the wearer has to lean back in order to balance. High heels, especially with a taller heel, strain the knee and hurt the lower back when trying to balance. However, completely flat shoes are not the correct choice either. While flip-flops and flats are better than high heels, they could also be the cause of increased pain symptoms. These shoes do not offer any cushion. Without a cushion to absorb the shock, the knees have to take a lot of the force generated by every step. Flip flops can even strain joints in the foot! Our pain specialists note that wearing heels or flip-flops can exacerbate pain symptoms in the long run, but are ok to wear for short periods of time.

So what kind of shoes are the best? The Pain Center of Arizona’s staff agrees: comfort is key! Patients who wear shoes that fit perfectly, offer a good arch support, and are very well cushioned might be able to avoid suffering from added pain caused by their footwear. Sometimes, this could mean getting specially ordered shoes in order for them to fit correctly. Special-order shoes are great for patients who experience swelling of the feet as well as patients who just need a non-standard size. Before heading out to your next appointment at The Pain Center of Arizona, remember to choose your shoes wisely. If you have any questions about whether or not your shoes are helping or hurting your situation, show them to your physicians so they can make critiques based on where you feel your pain.

If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We have locations across Arizona, including the Phoenix metropolitan, Northern and Southern areas! We take multiple insurance plans; click here to see if we take yours! To make an appointment and take the first step toward getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you soon!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.


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