Are Your Shoes Causing Your Back Pain?

Statistics show that high heels are one of the biggest factors leading to foot problems in women, with up to a third suffering permanent problems as a result of prolonged wear.

Dr. Cinnamon Claudio

Dr. Cinnamon Claudio Posture Assessment

So what are the harmful effects of wearing high heels?


When standing in high-heeled shoes, posture changes so that the back is arched, the pelvis and chest are thrust forward, the buttocks sticks out, and the calf muscles tighten .

Chiropractor in Raleigh

Raleigh NC Chiropractor Posture Assessment

A high heel shoe puts your foot in a plantarflexed (foot pointed downward) position, placing an increased amount of pressure on your forefoot. This causes you to adjust the rest of your body to maintain your balance. The lower part of your body leans forward and to compensate for that, the upper part of your body must lean back to keep you balanced. This is not your body’s normal standing position.

When standing straight up without wearing heels, the body creates a 90 degree angle with the floor, which is a normal stance.


Many women actually does not realize how high heels have affected the way they walk and how it can have an impact on their legs or feet.

When walking in high heels, your foot is in a more fixed downward position and you are not able to push off the ground with as much force. This causes your hip flexor muscles in your legs to work harder to move and pull your body forward.

Raleigh Chiropractor Posture Assessment

Raleigh Chiropractor Posture Assessment

New York Times‘ Health writer Tara Parker Pope cites a new study by researchers in Australia that reveals how heels affect a woman’s gait, increasing overall inefficiency and potentially making them more susceptible to strain.

For the study, the researchers fastened electrodes to the legs of women who wore heels regularly. They then asked the women to walk along a walkway in their favorite heels while the electrodes monitored muscle activity and movement patterns. The women were then asked to complete the same circuit, only this time barefoot.

After analyzing both experiments and comparing them with results from women who didn’t wear heels, the researchers discovered that women who were habituated to wearing heels had a different gait. Even when walking barefoot the heel-wearers walked differently.

Women who wore heels displayed a shortened walking style and when they walked their feet were flexed and their toes pointed. As a result, they put greater strain on the muscles of the calf, which had shortened in response.

The researchers speculate that over time, this increased amount of muscle tension may amp up the risk of injury due to strain. Questions about potential injuries aside, walking this way also just requires more effort to get from point A to B.


The normal s-curve shape of the back acts as a shock absorber, reducing reduce stress on the vertebrae. Wearing high heels causes lumbar (low-back) spine flattening and a posterior (backward) displacement of the head and thoracic (mid-back) spine. High heel shoes cause you to lean forward and the body’s response to that is to decrease the forward curve of your lower back to help keep you in line. Poor alignment may lead to muscle overuse and back pain.


The hip flexor muscles are located on the upper front part of your thighs. They are forced to work much harder and longer to help you walk because your feet are held in a downward position (plantarflexed) and have reduced power to move your body forward. If your hip flexor muscles are chronically overused, the muscles can shorten and a contracture can occur. If a contracture occurs, this could lead to flattening of the lumbar (low-back) spine.

 But some of us just can’t bring ourselves to give up our high heels, so here are some  new technologies for healthier high heels

Raleigh Chiropractor Posture Assessment

Raleigh Chiropractor Posture Assessment

• Nike Air teamed up with Cole Haan, an American shoe and accessories company, to develop high heels that utilize Nike Zoom airbag pockets, which cushion the sole and ball of the foot, alleviating the pain you may feel wearing heels. High heels with this technology average three to four inches.

• Insolia inserts, developed by New Hampshire podiatrist Howard Dananberg in 1997, are designed to lift the arch of the foot and shift body weight so it is evenly distributed between the heel and toes. The idea is to improve body alignment and reduce leg and lower back pain.

• Taryn Rose, a line of shoes founded by and named for the California-based orthopedic surgeon who developed it in 1998, offers shoes with wider toes and tighter heel surround, arch support, foam linings to absorb shock, and a rubber-and-leather sole that’s flexible when the foot bends.

• All Day Heels, the fashionable line from Canadian footwear retailer and designer Ron White, provide arch support, have built-in cushioning materials, and also include rubber compounds in the sole or heel cushion. Heel height ranges between one and four inches.

If you wear high heels frequently, See your local Raleigh Chiropractor – Did you know that most chiropractors in Raleigh, NC are trained in adjusting the extremities?  This means that they can correct joint dysfunction in the feet, ankles, and knees as well.  They can also do a full evaluation to see how much the stress from wearing heels is affecting the rest of your body.


Do you have a Humpback?

Neck Pain in Raleigh

Neck Pain Raleigh, NC

Neck Pain Raleigh, NC

After repetitive stress, prolonged bad posture or an accident injury to the muscles of the neck may occur and uninjured muscles will often compensate. When this happens, the vertebrae of the neck not function correctly, and neck pain results. This is the point where a chiropractor in Raleigh can help.  Raleigh Chiropractic care helps the vertebrae of the neck function correctly by neck pain treatment.

Thorough Examination of Neck Pain Causes

Prior to treating neck pain, a chiropractor will thoroughly examine the patient with a chiropractic evaluation, which can include orthopedic, neurological, and imaging to help determine if your condition is a chiropractic case. If not you will be referred to the appropriate specialist before beginning Raleigh chiropractic care.

Initial Treatment for Neck Pain

To treat neck pain, a chiropractor in Raleigh, NC  will often use a series of chiropractic neck adjustments to help cervical vertebrae function correctly. Also termed cervical manipulation, these adjustments help the overall health of the vertebrae. This process alleviates pain by helping nerve irritation, reducing muscle spasms and improving range of motion.

Wellness Program

After the initial adjustment, a chiropractor may develop a personalized care program, based on the patient’s needs, which may include adjustments, massage, and rehabilitative exercises to ensure the cervical vertebrae maintain function.


Are Your Shoes Causing Your Back Pain?

Got Office Posture?

Chiropractors in Raleigh are experts at analyzing posture and spinal problems.

Dr. Cinnamon Claudio

Dr. Cinnamon Claudio Raleigh Chiropractor

They search for the problems that are at the root of poor posture, analyzing spinal curvatures, movement and alignment. Some of the postural analyses a Chiropractor in Brier Creek undertakes includes assessing a patient for:

  • changes in the stance
  • alignment of the knees
  • leveling of the hips or pelvis
  • height differences across the shoulders
  • tilting of the head and neck
  • forward tilting of the pelvis
  • forward head translation
  • increase in the spinal curvatures
  • changes to gait

Work at a desk in front of a computer all day?

Office Desk Posture

Office Desk Posture

Our backs were not designed to spend long periods of time sitting at desks – a common feature of many work environments.  Spending six to eight hours a day in front of a computer can lead to shoulder, arm, hand and neck problems, as well as issues with balance and coordination.

One study has found that over 45% of office workers experience neck pain. Back problems are big contributors to lost productivity in the workplace.

Common Posture Problems:

Forward Head Posture – Forward head posture is the most common postural defect found in computer operators.

Round Shoulders – Round Shoulders is distinguished by the hunched over appearance it creates, and is a poor posture that is often associated with office workers and computer operators.

Rotated Hips- Rotate hips can be caused by holding a poor position for a long period of time, such as sitting at your desk twisting to write as well as looking at the computer.

In severe cases, long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition that results in the spine twisting from left to right, instead of running in a straight line from top to bottom. Depending on the severity, scoliosis of the spine can have a detrimental impact on vital organs, such as your heart, liver and kidneys.

Can I correct my poor posture?

Yes! Remember, however, that long-standing postural problems will typically take longer to address than short-lived ones, as often the joints have adapted to your long-standing poor posture. Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you consciously correct yourself. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body position.

How do I sit properly?

Good Posture

Good Posture


  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.
  • Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
  • Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time

Your local Raleigh chiropractor can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles. He or she can also assist you with choosing proper postures during your activities, helping reduce your risk of injury.

– Dr. Cinnamon Claudio


Neck Pain in Raleigh