Back Pain? Put a Spring in Your Step!
Mountain bikers and auto parts dealers know a thing or two about shock absorbers. So, too, do certain shoe salespeople.
And even though shock absorbers in shoes might look a little funky, manufacturers and wearers say Z-Coil shoes can reduce the pain of everything from arthritis to heel spurs.
Vicky Hayes’ found them so helpful after wearing her partner’s pair – two sizes too large – to relieve ankle pain, she opened Cra-Z-Coil to sell them.
Among Hayes’ clients, Dr. Margaret Bridges endured two surgeries, crutches and a cane to repair a torn meniscus in her knee before following a nurse’s advice to try the shoes.
She now ears them almost every day. “And the truth is, my doesn’t hurt when I wear them!”
While the shoes may not work for everybody, they’re worth trying if you have chronic foot, knee, hip or lower back pain, says Bridges, who has sent several patients to Hayes.
A bit heavier than typical footwear, the shoes work by reducing shock and distributing pressure evenly. Beyond a three-inch-wide steel spring in the heel, they provide rigid support through a built-in orthotic, which prevents the plantar ligament from stretching and causing midfoot pain, or plantar fascitis. It also prevents the plantar ligament from detaching from the heel bone, which causes heel spurs. Extra forefoot cushioning protects against fractured metatarsal bones.
Studies at the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories concluded the shoes distribute weight more evenly over a runner’s feet than brand-name cushioned shoes and provide 50 percent to 100 percent more cushioning. The overall effect is to reduce the impact – equivalent to one-and-a-half times body weight when walking and three to four times when running – when feet hit the ground.
Customer Jeff Martinez says he experienced instant pain relief when he first tried the shoes on in 2003. The 39-year-old roof inspector, who could barely walk after injuring his back on the job, came across a booth selling the shoes at a Rice Owls football game. “If it weren’t for the shoes, I probably would’ve been on workers’ comp.”
Martinez, who spends his days treading hot asphalt, has replaced the heels of his original Z-Coils three times, but says that’s an improvement over the once-every-three-week need to replace the boots he’d been using before.
Comfort is another reason customers try the shoes. Annette Hernandez bought a pair of her own after her husband’s back pain disappeared while wearing the shoes. The 46-year-old registered nurse says the shoes make her feel like she’s “walking on air” during her 11-hour shifts.
“Every now and then I run into somebody who’ll say, ‘Don’t you love your Z-Coils?’ and I’ll look down and see they’ve got them on,” Bridges says.
Prices range from $239-$279 and they may be covered by insurance.
Crazy Coil is located at 9121-C Stella Link. Call them at (713) 592-0050 or visit their website at www.crazycoil.com.
I had scoliosis as a child (but was not diagnosed as having had it until I was in my 20’s). I also sprained my back during that time. As I got older, my back and right hip began giving me more and more problems. I could not stand for more than a couple of minutes without having back spasms and needing to sit down. I would take, at minimum, 800 mgs of ibuprofen a day. Many times it was more. My eye doctor is next door to the CraZCoil store in southwest Houston, so I went in there on a lark to see how they felt. I was amazed! I walked around on the hard floors for about 5 mintes and my back did not hurt at all. I believe the long-term benefits will be walking properly (with small gel inserts in one shoe to balance my hips) and to be able to do so for increasing lengths of time. I loved the first pair (which I bought for work) then I went back the next day and bought a pair of tennis shoes. I wore them to the dog park and had no problems managing the incline of the hill or walking on the gravel. I highly recommend Z-Coil for anyone with back and/or leg pain. I don’t expect them to take away all my pain immediately, however, the results so far have been wonderful. A friend bought a pair for her 13-year-old son who has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and he loves them!
I am an AKC agility judge and am on my feet about 10 hours per day when judging. I walk and occasionally run about 10 miles per day while judging. I used to take Alieve to help ease the discomfort in my back and legs. Since I started wearing the Z-Coils, no pain medication is needed. I love these shoes. In the last 2 weeks of judging, I have had about 10 different people try my shoes on and loved them. I got tired of everyone asking where I got them, so I posted the website for all to see. These are the best shoes for anyone on their feet all day long!