Learn how to avoid surprising, fashion-related pain!

Your feet aren’t made just for wearing pretty shoes; they’re an important part of your musculoskeletal system. When you’re shopping for new shoes, there’s a quick test you can do to see if a shoe fits properly: it’s called the “shake test.” Try on a shoe and shake your foot; if the shoe falls off, it means you’ll be scrunching your toes while you walk to keep the shoe secure. Holding your body in this unnatural position stresses your spine, and you probably need to try a different pair. If you shake your foot and the shoe stays on, you may have a good fit. Next, we encourage you to check the shoes for proper arch support and a heel height that doesn’t stress your ankles. Questions about how your feet affect your overall spinal health? Ask your Bronston healthcare provider for an evaluation.

Shoes-jeans ACA 11-19Next, let’s talk skinny jeans. Be aware that extremely tight jeans can actually compress the nerve in the upper thigh, causing numbness and a condition called meralgia paraesthetica. While this is not a spinal issue, it is a painful problem that physical therapists and chiropractors often see. Tip: try a fit that’s just a bit looser!
Our final fashion focus is the handbag. While infinitely attractive, that cute purse can affect your health. A USDA study finds that the ideal weight of a handbag should be no more than 2.2 pounds, but the average woman carries a handbag that weighs more than 5 pounds; others estimate the average weight at 6-7 pounds! Carrying that weight on one arm can cause pain. What to do? Keep your workout clothes, lunch and water bottle in a separate bag. If you carry your handbag on your shoulder, choose a purse with a thick strap so the weight is better distributed and remember to switch arms from time to time. Backpacks are another option if you have a long way to walk. Questions about back or shoulder pain? Contact your Bronston healthcare professional.