"Mobility Shoes" for Knee OA
New research suggests that patients with knee osteoarthritis who wear specially designed flat and flexible "mobility shoes" that mimic barefoot mechanics experience a significant reduction in "knee loading", the technical term for the force placed upon the joint during daily activities. The findings, which were published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, showed that long term use of the mobility shoes helped OA patients adapt how they walk. This turned out to improve knee loading even when the participants no longer wore the shoes.
A release from the publisher notes that more than 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have some form of OA, which causes painful swelling and stiffness. A 2006 study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism projected that doctor-diagnosed arthritis will swell to 67 million U.S. adults by 2030. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 16% of adults 45 years of age and older have symptoms of knee OA.
Researcher Dr. Najia Shakoor of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois is quoted as saying, "There is much interest in biomechanical interventions, such as orthotic inserts, knee braces, and footwear that aim to improve pain and delay OA progression by decreasing impact on joints. In the present study, we expand understanding of our earlier research by evaluating the impact of the mobility footwear on gait after six months of use . . . Our investigation provides evidence that footwear choice may be an important consideration in managing knee OA."