How To Dress With Back Pain In Mind

Last updated on : June 26 2021

Girl feeling pain in backless dress

Article Summary

Just about everyone experiences back pain at some point in their lives. Whether you're coping with a chronic issue or merely suffering from the adverse effects of stress, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) notes that as many as 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time, and it's the leading cause of disability worldwide. 

If you're trying to mitigate your back pain, the first thing you might want to look at is your wardrobe. It might not seem that obvious, but your clothing and accessories can impact your comfortability. We all know that wearing high heels does little to help your back pain, but even some styles of shirt can result in more pain than others. 

Are you trying to ease your back pain? Rely on these clothing tips to stop your back pain in its tracks.

Click on the links below to learn more. 

Choose the right heels

Ditch the corsets

The problem with shoulder bags

Watch out for winter

Do your clothes fit you correctly?


Choose the right heels

As much as we know that high heeled shoes are wrong for your back, many people can't resist the allure of a slender leg and added height. After all, you're not going to wear a pair of sneakers on a night out on the town. In some situations, you cannot avoid heels. But choosing the best pair of heels can help mitigate the risk of back pain instead of necessarily adding to it. 

High heels typically cause back pain because they create added pressure on your hips and spine. Because your heels are higher than usual, this misalignment of the hips and spine can cause your lower back muscles to overcompensate for the additional stress, leading to muscle tension.

When you stand in these shoes for long periods, it's only natural that these sections of your body can become a little sore. On top of that, high heels affect the way you walk, which can further aggravate your back. 

Is there any way that we can wear heels comfortably?

There are a few key ways to choose the right heel: 

First, know your shoe size and try on the heels you want to wear. Shopping online means that we can settle for an ill-fitting shoe if it gets the job done. But if you're not wearing a pair of heels that fit you properly, your back is going to work even harder to make you feel more comfortable. If you're recently pregnant or trying, you must get your shoe size checked because pregnancy can alter the size of your feet. 

Secondly, you should know what type of foot you have. If you have foot problems, like plantar fasciitis, a thin heel with a little cushion between your shoes and the concrete you're walking on will cause more pain. If you have weak ankles, you'll also want to opt for a heel with more support around the top of your foot and your ankle to prevent it from rolling in on itself. Thicker heels, like block heels and wedges, can also avoid issues of balance. 

Lastly, you can also consider inserts. Inserts can be tricky since shoe inserts can alter the size of the shoe. When you go to try on shoes, be sure to bring your preferred insert to ensure you get the right size. Again, settling for a shoe that doesn't fit well will do your back no favors. 

Ditch the corsets 

There's no problem with wearing a corset or waist trainer on occasion. After all, achieving that hourglass shape is a desire we all have now and again. However, continued wear of this type of undergarment can exacerbate, or even cause, back pain. 

These issues occur because waist trainers weaken your core and back muscles as it's trying to shift your body into the "ideal" place. Anyone with back pain knows that strengthening your back muscles and the core muscles in your abdomen are essential for reducing back pain. 

Since there's also no medical evidence that proves wearing a waist trainer will change your shape, it's better to get an hourglass figure in the old fashioned way: diet and exercise

The problem with shoulder bags

Crossbody bags and strappy purses are a fun way to spruce up your style on any given day. Unfortunately, heavy bags that rely on one strap can cause undue stress on your back. 

This unnecessary stress happens because the bulk of the pressure from the bag can cause one shoulder to work harder than the other. Your posture will falter, and your entire back put at risk for annoying aches and pains. On top of that, it can also affect your gait and ability to walk comfortably. These issues, in turn, can cause lower back pain, similar to the problem that you would get from wearing heels. 

Bags are best when they evenly distribute their weight. That's why students typically wear backpacks with two straps instead of lugging around handbags and crossbody bags. When you have to carry heavier items, opt for a two-strap bag to ease pressure on your back. Luckily, countless backpacks look trendy and fashionable, falling more in line with purses than actual backpacks. 

If you cannot ditch your favorite crossbody, try switching up which side you wear it on. Switching like this will prevent one side of your body from being more stressed than the other. You can also try carrying fewer things with you at a time or portioning out essential items to other easily accessible areas, like your car. 

Watch out for winter

Did you know that back pain can get worse in the winter? This concern is primarily because cold temperatures cause our bodies to tense up.

We raise our shoulders beneath our winter coats to help keep the chill at bay and take smaller steps outside to prevent slip and fall accidents. On top of that, puffy coats with big, heavy hoods can cause additional pressure on our upper back and neck. 

With winter approaching fast, it might be in your best interest to invest in warmer clothing. When you're able to move around more freely, you're better able to stretch your limbs and achieve your natural gait.

Switch up your winter fashion regularly between warm leggings, thick jeans, and other comfortable pants to avoid bodily stress in that regard, too. Wearing the same clothing too often can trigger back pain in some people, especially if they wear items that affect their posture often.

Switch it up and take note of clothing that causes your back pain to act up. It might be time to trade out some of those skinny jeans for high-rise options that are gentler on your lower back. 

Do your clothes fit you correctly? 

As mentioned earlier, tight clothing can restrict your movement. While the variety in your wardrobe is essential, you want to be sure that the majority of your clothing doesn't restrict your movement or result in bad posture.

Too-tight pants might cause us to walk funny while tighter tops can push our shoulders forward, resulting in pain. If your clothing doesn't fit you right, it makes sense that you'd feel a little back pain now and then. 

One of the essential pieces of clothing a woman can wear is her bra. Unfortunately, most people are wearing the wrong bra size. An incorrect band size or too-thin straps can cause unnecessary pressure on your middle back and shoulders. The right bra should not pull down on your shoulders and make you feel uncomfortable, even if it's cute.

Try to choose a bra that enables you to clasp the middle hook. That way, you can still wear it if you lose or gain a little weight or if the bra loses some of its elasticity. If you see any bumps or rolls in your body when you try it on, you might have to go for a different size. Getting measured might be intimidating, but it's necessary to find the right bra for you

We can say the same for bralettes and sports bras. Halter top options are undoubtedly cute, but they do nothing good for your upper back and shoulders, especially if you have a more massive chest. If you usually have neck pain after a day of wearing a halter top, it might be time to purge your closet of these items. 

Supporting your back through the right clothing might also mean investing in leisure clothes. Remember that you don't have to serve looks 24/7. If you're having a movie night with friends, change out of your skinny jeans and put on a pair of sweatpants to ease the pressure on your lower back. You'll feel more comfortable, and you'll likely have less back pain to deal with the next day. 


Did you know that the clothing you wear can affect your back pain?

Whether you're coping with chronic pain or just trying to mitigate infrequent bouts of pressure, relying on these tips can help you make better decisions regarding your wardrobe.

Odds are, it will take time to identify which clothing works best for you. Keep track of which makes you feel good and rely on your doctor if you have any questions. You deserve to feel comfortable.

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