Do shoe inserts help reduce back pain?


Standing and walking can both take a toll on your posture and cause back pain. How can these simple, everyday actions hurt your back? If your feet or ankles have mechanical problems that throw off the way you walk or stand, they can affect your posture over time and strain your lower back, causing pain.

However, there may be a simple solution: shoe inserts.

Shoe inserts, also known as orthotic shoe devices, are molded pieces of rubber, leather, metal, felt and/or plastic that you can put in your shoes to correct your gait, balance your foot into a neutral position and cushion it from pounding. Inserts can relieve the stress and stretching that occurs in your feet when you stand or walk. They can also help spread and absorb the shock caused by walking and ease pressure on your heel. 

Different kinds of inserts are specific to different foot problems. The most common foot problems that lead to poor posture and irregular walking include tissue inflammation (plantar fascitis), nerve pain or numbness (neuroma or tarsal tunnel syndrome), bunions or bunionettes and excessive foot rolling in or out (pronation or supination).

Regardless of whether you are a “pronator” or a “supinator," orthotics can be built to help relieve symptoms that you may be experiencing. However, before you invest in a pricey pair of custom shoe inserts, try nonprescription inserts sold at drugstores, supermarkets and sporting goods stores. If you are not sure which inserts are right for you, your healthcare provider can be a valuable resource. This way, you can try out inserts to see if a store-bought option is best for you without spending a lot of money. You might also consider purchasing quality athletic shoes that have soft arch supports and heel cups built in.

If you suffer from prolonged or frequent back pain, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider. Goshen Physicians Orthopedics and Sports Medicine can help minimize your back pain and maximize recovery. For more information about how we can treat your back pain, call (574) 534-2558.