The Top 5 Clothes Making Your Back Pain Worse

by Paula

A new study has found that British women are putting fashion before their health.

back-pain-posture

The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) has found that 73% of women have suffered with back pain and their wardrobe could be a major factor.

Even though 28% of women are aware that clothing affects their back pain and posture, they are still not bothered by this when shopping for clothes.

Wearing skinny jeans and backless shoes, for example, can make pain worse. 33% of women were not aware at all that their clothing and accessories could affect their neck or back pain.

Tim Hutchful, a BCA chiropractor, states: “I am always surprised at how many of my patients are unaware that their clothing and accessories can affect their back health and their posture and, equally, how many decide their outfit-choice outweighs their pain.

“Some of the most popular items of clothing can have a hidden health impact. While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items like skinny jeans can also wreak havoc – they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies. New trends such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewellery can also create problems.”

clothes-affecting-backpain

 

The study showed the Top 5 clothing culprits for worsening back pain are:

1. Skinny jeans
2. Oversized shoulder bags
3. Coats with large fluffy hoods
4. High heeled shoes
5. Backless shoes, such as mules
Tim suggests: “Try and limit the number of times you wear skinny jeans or high heels every week so you’re giving your body a break, or try investing in a backpack for days when you have a lot to carry around.”

There are lots of smart handbag-style backpacks available, such as ones like this:

posture-back-pain

Here are some tips that the British Chiropractic Association provide to help you follow fashion without your health paying the price:

• Variation is key: Wearing similar pieces of clothing every day could trigger back pain, by regularly restricting certain parts of your body from moving freely. Shift the pressure on these areas by varying the styles of clothes you wear.

• Keep it loose: Tighter clothes restrict your body from moving freely so looser clothing, such as baggy trousers, maxi skirts, or straight leg jeans, are a good choice.

• Put the bag down: Heavy handbags are a particularly common cause of back pain in women. Pay attention to the bag you carry around and regularly check for and empty your bag of unnecessary items. Backpacks are the best design for your posture as they distribute weight evenly across both shoulders, so it’s great that these are back in style. Avoid bags that must be carried in the crook of your arm, as the weight of these held away from your body pulls one shoulder lower than the other, twisting your neck and spine. If your bag has one strap, alternate the shoulder you carry it on or, if it has a long strap, wear it across the body.

• Put your best foot forward: High heels force you to hold your body in a manner which promotes tension in your spine so, if you wear high heels, counteract any potential damage by wearing trainers or shoes with a lower heel from time to time and try to choose a wedge or chunkier heel over a stiletto.

• Get the right support: Clothes are important but what you wear underneath can also affect your posture. Bras need to fit properly so that your shoulders don’t take all the strain. When shopping for bras, look for one which has an underband that is neither too tight nor too loose. Ensure that the centre-fold fastener sits close to your body and that the straps are not too tight on your shoulders. Getting a fitting at a shop (many offer this service) is the best way to get a good fit.
This research was carried out between 14/02/2017 and 20/02/2017 on behalf of the British Chiropractic Association.

 

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