It’s probably not a surprise to many that the type of footwear you put on can have a major effect on your body. But for those with knee osteoarthritis some new research has come out that may be a surprise to some. A study conducted by experts at Rush University Medical Centre suggests that shoes that are flat and flexible may be best in helping to unload the inside of the knee joint. The inside or medial part of the knee is the most common area in the knee to develop osteoarthritis, which affects millions of North Americans. Previously, foot care professionals would suggest highly supportive foot wear and likely orthotic care to help absorb shock and control the biomechanics of the lower body to help alleviate the pain of osteoarthritis. Though this may be helpful for some, this research suggests that mobility shoes which allow the foot to move in a more natural way, as if barefoot, may be a better way to slow the progression of knee osteoarthritis. This was a very small study however, so it is hard to extrapolate the information to all people with arthritis in their knees. I have however been experimenting on myself for a little over a year now. I have had multiple knee surgeries and have severe osteoarthritis in both my knees. I have used orthotics, high cushioning shoes and knee braces, but have found the best relief for everyday pain was when I changed my footwear to more free motion type shoe. So if you are up for an experiment, try for yourself. Switch to a more flexible and flat style of footwear and see how you feel. It may not be for everyone, but if it work for you and you can find some relief for the everyday pain and stiffness in your knees, and help slow the progression, I think it’s worth a try. If you are unsure what kind of footwear that may be seek out your local Certified Pedorthist. They are footwear specialists and can help you find the right shoe to meet your goals.
Lisa Walters Certified Pedorthist