July 15, 2023

Are my clothing choices giving me back pain?

Our job as chiropractors is very often detective work as we look at the whole person and their lifestyle to try to find the root cause of their pain/complaint. So does clothing and fashion have a role to play in aggravating pain?

Google can't agree on this question. In fact it seems to be an equal divide between those that say "Absolutely not! and anyone who tells you otherwise is clearly a charlatan, snake oil sales person and a quack!". On the other side there is a more moderate side that say "Maybe, how tight are your clothes and where does the waist band sit?".

My opinion is that, for most people, as long as your clothes and accessories fit well and are comfortable they are probably not the root cause of your problem. However some clothing can be problematic. The most common culprits are ill fitting bras and high heals. But poorly fitted, tight jeans can also be problematic. If your clothes are tight in places where there is a nerve close to the surface e.g. the top of the pelvis, or if they rub or restrict movement then they will cause discomfort and pain. Accessories to be considered as potential back pain causes include cross body bags - its not so much the bag but how much stuff that is crammed into it that is the problem.

Some people are primed for pain due to e.g. untreated injury, chronic stress, tiredness or chronic subclinical inflammation. This means that even light touch can be an irritant and cause pain making life very uncomfortable most of the time for these people. If your clothes are causing you distress and discomfort it would be a great idea to consider if there is anything else in your life that may be setting you up for irritation? You are not alone, seek help from a friendly professional who can give you some suggestions and do some tests to help build a clinical impression and formulate a plan to help you out of this discomfort.

In conclusion

if you are fit, strong and healthy with a robust immune system and few environmental irritants then your clothes are not going to cause you many problems regardless of the extreme compromises you may make for fashion. However, if your musculoskeletal, nervous and immune systems are under stress, then your environment is likely to irritate you more and this may lead to pain.

Our Aspirations

At Cathedral Chiropractic we have three chiropractors and we find that no two chiropractors are the same! What we can assure you is that each of us has our patient’s best interest at heart, that we keep up to date with the literature and keep our therapies evidence led and patient centred. We always Keep your experience in mind and work hard to make it the best we can offer.
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