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How Can You Avoid Fashion-Related Pain this Season?

Your feet aren’t made just for wearing great-looking shoes; they’re an important part of your musculoskeletal system. When 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 walking to keep the shoe secure. Holding your body in this unnatural position stresses your spine, so you probably need to try a different pair. If you shake your foot and the shoe stays on, you’re on you way to a good fit. Next, check the shoes for proper arch support, and be aware that summer flats and flip-flops typically don’t offer good support. Also, look for a heel height that doesn’t stress your ankles.

Shoes-jeans ACA 11-19Next, let’s talk skinny jeans. 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 pretty 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. Small backpacks are another option if you have a long way to walk.

Avoiding fashion-related pain can enhance your wellness. Questions about how your feet affect your spinal health? Questions about neck or shoulder pain? Contact your Bronston healthcare professional.

Dr Leo Bronston

Author Dr Leo Bronston

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