Uncomfortable footwear may lead to back pain

BY: Joycelyn Kyei-Baffuor
Some footwear do not give relevant support to the spine

Wearing shoes that are uncomfortable can lead to acute back pain, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Euracare Hospital in Accra, Dr Joseph   Ogyadu,  has said.

In a recent interview with The Mirror, Dr Ogyadu said that there was a major correlation between one’s footwear and spine health.

“Some footwear do not give relevant support to the spine, they are either too worn out, very high or simply uncomfortable, and they do not allow one to create a very fine position for weight to be evenly distributed. Such shoes if worn for a long period can lead to deterioration of the spine. Some of the shoes you wear buy trouble for you, so, do not be surprised if you end up with back pain “, he explained.

Carrying heavy bags
Dr Ogyadu expressed concern about the growing incidence of some children carrying heavy back packs to school, sometimes on one hand saying “ it is now fashionable for children to carry heavy back packs to school, which are sometimes heavier than them. by so doing they put force which is not in alignment with the spine . The child carrying a heavy bag has to actively lean forward and this creates imbalance in the muscles , Along the line, the child will begin to experience acute back pain and the parents might not understand. the same thing applies to ladies who walk around with very heavy handbags”.

Poor lifting techniques
He indicated that poor posture and lifting techniques also put stress on the lower back muscles .
“when you bend down and reach across to pick a heavy load at the end of your arm, that is the worst thing you are doing to your back. the intervertebral disc cushions the spine , outside the disc you will find fibrous tissues and inside the disc contains a fibrous ring which contains a gel-like structure that sits at the centre of the intervertebral disc and accounts for much of the strength and flexibility of the spine as you bend or twist you put undue pressure on it , the jelly like material may come out and this can get your spine into trouble if it is done for a long period of time, before you lift an item, keep it close to the waist for as long as possible while lifting to reduce the amount of pressure on the back.

Workplace ergonomics
Dr Ogyadu recommended that office chairs should be of a certain height, provide enough lumbar support and “your hips should be 90 degrees, your feet should touch the floor and your desktop or laptop should be positioned at eye level”.

He advised men who wanted six packs to consult a physiotherapist to avoid hurting their spine in the process of working out in the gym.
“Sit-ups impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. If you decide you want to have six packs, and start doing sit ups, only one side of your spine is strengthened, whilst the other side is neglected and the situation could lead to back pain over time, always seek professional advice when you want to do any health intervention so that you don’t end up hurting yourself.”

He said globally, about 30 per cent of people who go to hospitals have spine problems which could have been easily prevented , hence the need to take good care of the spine.