Fashion Do’s and Don’ts for Musculoskeletal Health

chiropractic Oak Lawn IL back pain

What does fashion have to do with the health of your muscles, spine and overall skeletal structure? Quite a bit actually. Whether we’re talking about sky high stilettos, skinny jeans or heavy bling bags, these fashion statements can all have an effect on your body. Don’t worry. I’m not going to tell you to ditch your favorite clothes or accessories, but you might want to read on and learn how you can avoid musculoskeletal damage.

High Heels or Poor Fitting Shoes

Your feet and legs are the foundation for your musculoskeletal health. Everything from how the sole of your foot steps down as you move to the motion and use of your upper leg muscles has an effect on your hips, pelvis and spine. High heels can cause problems with the structure of the foot and ankle and lead to conditions such as painful bunions and plantar fasciitis. The same is true if your shoes are flat, but are too tight or lack support.

Wearing high heels also increases the risk of ankle strains and sprains, but even the most experienced high heel wearer cannot avoid the potential problems with the hamstring muscles. When you stand in high heels for long periods of time, your hamstring muscle is placed in a shorter position than it normally would be if your heels were flat to the ground. This causes a greater risk of hamstring injury and also increases inward curvature of the lower spine.

What to do if you simply can’t part with the awesome pair of spiked boots or switch to a more comfortable shoe? Try to limit the amount of time you spend in your heels. Take a spare pair of flat shoes to switch into if your feet begin to fatigue or start out in the flats if you need to walk to work. Stretch your leg muscles to increase the length and flexibility to avoid injury or shortening of the hamstrings. Forward bend and seated pike and straddles will be the best stretching for your legs. Most importantly, make sure your shoes fit well whether they are flats or heels. One thing to consider is many high end designer shoes are better designed for your foot (there’s the excuse you needed to splurge!).

Skinny Jeans/Tight clothes

Wearing clothing that is too restrictive can cause you to move differently and lead to imbalances and poor posture. If what you are wearing makes it difficult to reach, bend or even sit down comfortably, you should consider wearing looser clothing at least for work or while performing tasks. One way to get the “skinny” jean look with less restriction is to make sure the fabric is stretchy, although this is often accomplished with less natural fabric that may cause skin irritations for some.

Handbags and Backpack OVERLOAD

Large handbags that hold too much weight can cause tendinitis of the shoulder, poor posture and can even lead to the spine curving toward the direction of the shoulder you most use to carry your bag. Heavy backpacks can also cause shoulder, back and neck problems. If you carry a bag or use a backpack often, you should make sure the contents do not cause it to weigh more than 10% of your body weight. Ideally, 5% would be best. Make sure you swap carrying shoulders for the bag and wear the backpack appropriately using both shoulders (as opposed to slinging it on one) and adjusting the straps the bag rests in the middle of your back. Choose backpacks that have a waist and chest strap to help stabilize the weight.

Give Oak Lawn Physical Medicine a call and find out how a spinal evaluation today can save you from many aches and pains in the future!

By Nathan Ruof D.C.


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Ruof Chiropractic of Oak Lawn
10250 Central Avenue
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 423-1440