You, actually not only you, but almost all people also think wearing high heels can cause sciatica. On the other hand, the brutal truth is wearing flat shoes can also trigger and make sciatica even worse.
Wondering why flat footwear can also contribute to sciatica? Well, the primary reason is flat shoes are manufactured with low arch support that causes retinol strain in the feet while walking through them.
After that, the retinol strain will move all the way to the lower back through the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica condition. Learn more about why flat shoes cause sciatica and what footwear to wear if you have sciatica throughout this article.
What Causes Sciatica?
Sciatica is a symptom of pain, numbness, and weakness that radiate to the buttocks and legs along the sciatic nerve. It means irritation of a nerve that runs from the lower back to the leg. Different aspects and conditions contribute to sciatica, and one of them is wearing the wrong shoes.
If we talk about which type of footwear causes sciatica, these are high heels and flat shoes. In that case, you can use the most effective running shoes for sciatica on your feet. The running shoes are lightweight and designed with pressure zones in them.
Therefore, every step you take by wearing running shoes will evenly distribute the pressure across the foot. This distribution system will significantly help to minimize the lower back pressure and relieve sciatica.
Can Flat Shoes Cause Sciatica?
In addition to high heels, flat shoes also significantly affect the condition of sciatica. That is because most flat footwear comes with thin material and a very lower arch support system.
Walking in flat shoes will create constant moderate pressure on the muscles along the sciatic nerve below the buttocks. The pressure or stress on the sciatic nerve will lead to sciatica. Learn more how flat shoes cause sciatica by following the steps below.
- The arches of our feet work as a shock absorber, which reduces the pressure from our several body parts. Since flat shoes don’t have proper arch support, the arch cannot absorb shocks, and that causes back pain and sciatica issues.
- We walk on the balls of our feet, which is related to our arch. Flat shoes don’t have proper arch support, making you feel uncomfortable and even hurt your feet. Since the sciatic nerve ranges from your legs, it easily moves to the joints, ankles, knees, and lower back, resulting in sciatica.
- If you always use high heels and suddenly switch to flat shoes, this sudden change can cause pain and stress in your foot. The stress can put more stress on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica and lower back pain.
- The muscles in the back of your foot are in a state of constant contraction when they are above the surface of the high heel. Flat shoes may not provide the same support, and that can cause sciatica conditions.
In short, the lack of appropriate arch support makes the flat shoes a bad choice for sciatica patients.
What Shoes Are Good for Sciatica Patients?
Sciatica patients must need to think twice about shoes because shoes contribute to triggering and reducing sciatica. If you want to know what type of shoes will be good for sciatica patients, follow the below section.
1. Running Shoes
Running shoes should be the first and best choice for patients with sciatica. These shoes are lightweight and equipped with several pressure zones. They will equally distribute the pressure of every step throughout the feet and reduce the stress from the lower back.
Birkenstock is the second-best option for sciatica patients as It features a soft footbed and arch support system. It also has an adequate room and a deep heel cup for distributing weight equally to the entire foot. So Birkenstock also can be a good option for sciatica.
3. Rocker-Bottom Soles
A rocker-bottom sole also can be a good option if you or anyone has a sciatica issue. It will reduce the pressure on the foot joint and let the individual position the feet better. The whole process will put less pressure on the feet and back, which will help to relieve sciatica.
4. Ergonomic Shoes
Ergonomic shoes also can be effective in relieving sciatica conditions. They are designed with proper support and comfort to put less pressure on feet and rescue sciatica. Most ergonomic shoes are manufactured with a low heel system.
5. Sandals With Arch Support
Orthopedic-style sandals could also be the best option for sciatica patients. They offer the appropriate amount of arch support, and proper arch support will definitely help to reduce sciatica.
How to Find Good Footwear for Sciatica
If you’re suffering from sciatica, it’s essential to consider many things before getting a pair of shoes, sneakers, or other footwear. Wondering what things to consider before purchasing any type of footwear? Follow the below section to find out the aspects you need to look.
1. Heel Height
Choosing a pair of shoes with a slight or minor heel would be the best for patients suffering from sciatica. Having shoe heels slightly elevated helps your ankles rotate a little and rotate differently. The moderate heel height should range between 1 and 2 inches, and never go for shoes that have heels more than 2 inches.
Always try to purchase and wear lightweight shoes if you have sciatica conditions. Heavy shoes will cause additional strain on the sciatic nerve, which will cause a noticeable impact on your back pain.
3. Cushioning and Shock Absorption
Cushioning and shock absorption is an important aspect that requires attention while getting shoes for sciatica. Try to purchase a pair of shoes with cushioning, which will offer additional shock absorption for sciatica patients.
Another crucial aspect you have to consider is a supportive function like a sung heel, arch support. These two support systems will help to minimize sciatica-related pain and also relieve pressure from your feet.
When it’s about materials, you have to consider your preference. Try to get therapeutic shoes with a seamless interior with supportive insoles that give you comfort and reduce annoyance. However, always avoid getting flat and plastic-made shoes.
Getting and wearing shoes with poor fitting can make the sciatica condition worse. You need to get a pair of footwear that will gently fit your feet. Also, avoid too tight footwear, which can cause pain and discomfort.
Back pain can be triggered by plenty of sources, and pressure on the sciatic nerve is one of them. Stress or pressure on the sciatic nerve can also be caused by a variety of reasons and wearing flat shoes is one of them. Flat shoes don’t offer appropriate arch support that contributes to triggering sciatica.
Well, we have included several footwear types that you can wear instead of flat shoes to reduce sciatica conditions. Alongside discussing various shoes, we’ve also described what to look for before getting any footwear for sciatica patients. So if you’re also suffering from sciatica, then try to consider the facts to reduce your sciatica condition.