Photo credit: iStockphoto

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Do you suffer from painful swelling and stiffness in your knee joints? If so, then you’re not alone. More than 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have some form of osteoarthritis (OA) in their hands, feet, knees and hips. And about 16% of adults, age 45 and older, suffer from symptoms of knee OA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, if you want to reduce the stress and strain on your knees, a recent Rush University Medical Center study found that people with knee OA who wear special flat, flexible footwear that facilitates natural foot mobility and provides sufficient foot support experienced a significant reduction in the force placed on their knee joints during their daily activities (also called knee loading).The study, published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology, shows that long-term use of these specially designed “mobility shoes” helped people with OA adapt their gait (how they walk), decreasing the impact on their knees even when the shoes were no longer worn. Mobility shoes are designed to mimic the movement of walking barefoot and have a series of grooves on the sole at major flexion points.

The study observed 16 people with knee OA whose gait was measured at the beginning of the study wearing their own walking shoes and going barefoot. The participants then wore the mobility shoes for six hours a day, six days a week. Their gait, while wearing the mobility shoes, their own shoes and going barefoot, was evaluated after 6, 12 and 24 weeks. By 24 weeks of wearing the mobility shoes, the participants had an 18% reduction in knee loading while walking compared to their own shoes. This reduction in knee loading continued even after the people stopped wearing the mobility shoes.

The bone and joint experts at Rush University Medical Center believe these mobility shoes can reduce the wear and tear on the knees of OA sufferers and potentially delay the progression of OA while providing pain relief. According to study author Dr. Najia Shakoor, “Our investigation provides evidence that footwear choice may be an important consideration in managing knee OA.”

Knee OA is a leading cause of chronic disability in older adults. It is characterized by progressive damage of the joint cartilage, the material that cushions the bones, and causes changes in the structures around the joints. These changes can include fluid accumulation, inflammation, bony overgrowth, and weakness of the muscles and ligaments. OA can limit movement of the knee joint, causing pain and swelling, which, in turn, reduces a person’s ability to perform their daily activities.

Mobility Shoes Plus ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics – A Win-Win Combo

If you have knee OA, mobility shoes may be the answer for a better gait. However, by coupling these shoes with a proper foot orthotic, like the ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotic, you can encourage better motion of your feet and the even distribution of your weight on your feet. ezWalker® Custom Orthotics are biomechanically designed to support your arches, help you walk more efficiently and help you obtain pain relief. The ezWalker® Custom Orthotic is ultra thin and 3/4 length, so it will fit comfortably in a  mobility shoe. The ezWalker® Custom Orthotic has been proven to improve foot health in as little as 6 months to a year.

So, reduce the stress on your foot and knee joints caused by OA damage – try the ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotic today! You’ve got nothing to lose, but your pain.

Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®

Note: If you follow these guidelines and your pain persists, you may have a more serious condition. See your physician for a more complete diagnosis and treatment.

Journal Reference: Shakoor N, Lidtke R. H., Wimmer M. A., et al. Improvement in Knee Loading After Use of Specialized Footwear for Knee Osteoarthritis: Results of a Six-Month Pilot Investigation. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 2013; 65 (5): 1282 DOI: 10.1002/art.37896