Whether you’re heading for a night out on the town or you’re simply a slave to fashion, you might be surprised to learn there are actually some clothing choices that can be bad for your back.
As an Ealing chiropractor, I treat a range of postural, joint and muscle issues on a daily basis and I know that fashion choices are not necessarily the first thing people think about with regards to their back pain.
If you suffer a recurrent back problem, considering your fashion choices and avoiding some simple fashion ‘mistakes’ could make a big difference by putting a lot less strain on your back.
According to most podiatrists, women have more foot issues than men. The reason for this is down to wearing shoes that have heels which are too high. The trouble is we weren’t designed to walk on tip-toes.
Excessively high heels can cause problems with your knees, hips and lower back. First of all, your knees are subjected to an extra force when your weight is pushed onto the balls of your feet. Your hip flexors and calves get shortened. You may be surprised to learn that this can often translate into lower back problems.
While wearing high heels for a special occasion may be okay, if you’re in these kinds of shoes all day then you can potentially be doing serious damage to your posture, joints and spine. If you have worn high heel shoes over a period of years, it’s likely that you will have caused some serious postural changes that will take time and effort to put right.
There has been some research done in this area in America. Although it’s a small sample, one study showed that restrictive clothing affects lumbar spine movement and may cause or exacerbate lower back pain.
The experiment used 28 adults and put them in either tight or properly fitting pants while they performed a variety of different daily tasks such as lifting boxes or sitting on a task chair at a desk. Ratings of back pain were significantly higher in those subjects that wore the tight clothes.
Everything from skinny jeans to pencil skirts and shapewear may be considered as offenders here. At our Ealing chiropractic clinic, our advice is to keep your clothes snug but not skin tight. The more restrictive a garment is, the longer you wear it, the more it is likely to impact on your posture and back health.
Some people carry their whole world around with them in a backpack or handbag. If you’re rushing around London, you want to make sure you have everything you need after all! The trouble is those bags can get pretty heavy and that can cause issues with your posture.
We’re fairly sure that bags have gotten heavier over the last couple of decades. Slung over a shoulder, they pull the body to one side and put your spine at an off-kilter angle. You can quickly get used to this and end up with back problems later.
Our advice is to lighten the load as much as you can. If you feel a bit of heft when you lift that bag, it’s certain that it’s overloaded. If you do need to carry more stuff around than your average human being, be careful about the type of bag you choose.
Swap your shoulder bag for a backpack that spreads the weight a bit more evenly. But, if you do have a large shoulder bag and are loath to get rid of it, make sure that you swap sides every so often.
If you do use a back pack then make sure that you wear it as it was intended and not slung over one shoulder. You should adjust both straps so that the backpack sits across your back evenly with the weight distributed evenly.
If you are currently suffering a back problem and want to do something about it, contact The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing. Our experienced and friendly Ealing chiropractors are ready to help you resolve your back problems.