Back pain often comes back. According to a study, 50% of individuals will have a second back pain episode within one year of their initial episode. Just think, that’s a flip of a coin to determine whether or not you will have another agonizing encounter with back pain. Chances are, that’s a bet you’re not willing to take. 

So what if there was something you could do today to lower the chances of having your back pain come back? Would you do it?

As it turns out, certain types of clothing can increase the chances your back pain will return because of the stress they place on your spine. By making small modifications to your wardrobe, you may be able to lower your chances of having another back pain episode. Here are some of the most common types of clothing that can cause stress on your back, which may lead to back pain.

High-heeled shoes

High-heeled shoes position your heel at an unnatural height which causes your pelvis to tilt forward. This creates what is called an anterior pelvic tilt. When our pelvis is tilted in this position, the muscles in our lower back will shift which causes strain on your spine and can worsen back pain. 

The higher your heels, the greater the pelvic tilt and strain placed on your back. If you must wear heels, try keeping your heel height under 2 inches to help to minimize the strain on your back. 

Large and heavy bags

We often tend to carry bags on our dominant side (e.g. if you are right-handed you will carry bags on the right side of your body). Over time, this can cause strain on your spine by pulling your shoulder lower on the arm you tend to carry your bag on. Similarly, if we carry a bag (or backpack) that is too heavy, our spine arches unnaturally which places stress on the spine and can lead to back pain. 

If you often carry a heavy bag or backpack, begin by lightening it as much as possible. If you notice you usually carry bags on one side of your body, try alternating between the two sides of your body.

Pencil skirts

Pencil skirts can restrict movement in your legs, thighs, and hips. This can cause a decrease in mobility and impact your ability to bend properly, causing increased strain on your spine. This style of skirt can also bring your knees close together in an unnatural position which can place more pressure on the discs in your back. 

Choose skirts that allow your legs to move freely and do not constrict your movement when bending. 

Strapless bras

Strapless bras and bras with minimal support like spaghetti strap bras can cause strain on the spine.  If your cup size is over a ‘C’ cup and you suffer from back pain, make sure to wear bras with adequate support.

The best bras to wear are properly fitting, supportive bras. If you have not been fitted for a bra within the last year, you should get remeasured. Many stores will offer complimentary bra fitting services to ensure you have the correct size bra. Pick supportive bras such as racer-back bras or bras with thick straps to evenly distribute weight around your shoulders.

Skinny jeans

Much like pencil skirts, skinny jeans can restrict your movement. Especially high-waisted skinny jeans. This restriction in movement can create back pain. 

Choose jeans that have a blend of materials that allow for movement. Often these types of jeans will have wording such as ‘stretch’ displayed with them. Sometimes they will show materials within the jeans in percentages (e.g. 50% denim 50% nylon). 

Finding the right fit

Wearing clothing that does not restrict your movement or place unnecessary strain on your back is an easy way to keep back pain from coming back. Find clothing that is comfortable and allows you to move freely.  Contact us for more information.


Hoy D, Brooks P, Blyth F, Buchbinder R. The epidemiology of low back pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2010;24:769-781. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2010.10.002.

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