Flip Flops May Be Causing You Back Pain

Flip flops are the favorite summer shoe. They are commonly worn as a breathable alternative to sneakers and are in just about everyone’s closet. While many people wear them often, studies suggest that your flip flops can be the source of your chronic back pain.

Dr. Alfred Bonati, MD, Founder of The Bonati Spine Institute recently researched the relationship of shoes to his patients who suffer from lower back pain. As Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, he has experienced numerous conditions that relate to wearing flat sandals or flip flops. He found that they can present major problems like low back pain in those who wear them often.

Women Wearing Flip Flops

The discovery was that the heel hits the floor first when wearing flip flops. As a result, the transmission of the energy from the impact goes directly to the lower back. With this constant pressure affecting the area around the sacroiliac joint, it can be a constant source of back pain. He also explains that this pressure can be much worse for women because their bodies are uniquely shaped along the spine to move the pelvis outward.

Flip Flop Alternatives

If you have experienced back pain in the past two or three months, the first place to look is the shoes you wear most often. Orthopedic surgeons suggest changing styles to a slightly higher heel as the first treatment. By doing this, the transmission of the impact will go to the knees that act as shock absorbers instead of the back.

The effect of switching to a medium heel will also pitch your skeletal system forward slightly, sending the impact to the ball and toes of the foot, which are padded to contain the pressure.
Stilettoes are not the best choice either when on your feet for extended periods. Instead, consider wearing a medium heel, but not one that affects the back in other ways.

For lower back pain, try stretching or yoga, hot and cold compresses, and if the pain persists, a back brace may be necessary. If the pain persists longer than three months or is severe, contact an orthopedic physician or a spine expert to have your pain assessed.

Marc Cohen and the spine experts at the Spine Institute have experience helping the people of the New Jersey area alleviate their back pain through patient-specific methods. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to schedule your appointment today.