One in two Americans will develop knee osteoarthritis at some point in their lifetime. If you suffer from this painful joint disease you know how challenging it can be to stay moving. But what if changing something as simple as your shoes could cut down your pain?
Every step you take puts five times your body's weight on your knees and joints, but for those with osteoarthritis, the pressure can be unbearable.
"When that pain won't go away, it's debilitating," says Jim Harvey.
For Jim Harvey, the pain began decades ago while carrying his two young girls.
"I missed a step and I felt something go on my knee," says Jim.
He considered surgery, but instead enrolled in a new study that did not involve a trip to the operating room.
"We hope that if we can reduce load in some way, that we will prevent progression of arthritis and improve pain," explains Najia Shakoor, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Rheumatologist at Rush University Medical Center.
Prior research shows walking barefoot is the best way to reduce load on the knees, but that's not always practical. That's where the new mobility shoe comes in.
"We designed the shoe to essentially mimic being barefoot,” explains Dr. Shakoor. “So, you would still have some protective cover on your foot, but you would get a very natural barefoot-like, um, gait."
Results show after six-months, participants saw an 18 percent decrease in joint load, without drugs or surgery. You may also find relief by just looking for a flat, flexible soled shoe.
"Go out there and find a shoe that bends, you know, see if its sole bends, says Dr. Shakoor. “And try it out."
For Jim, it's been life changing.
"Now it's like, I don't want to take them off," says Jim.
It’s a simple shoe that's making life more comfortable.
The mobility shoes are a little pricey. A pair will run you anywhere from $129 to $149. But it may be worth the price, especially since there is no cure for osteoarthritis.
Taking a "Load off" of Joint Pain with Mobility Shoes
BACKGROUND: One of the most common forms of arthritis is osteoarthritis and it occurs when the cartilage on the ends of the bone disintegrate over time. When the cartilage breaks down, it causes the bones to rub together which eventually damages the joint. This disorder usually affects the joints in the knees, neck, lower back, hips and hands. Affecting millions of people world-wide, osteoarthritis gets worse with age and it does not have a cure. Factors that can cause osteoarthritis entail joint injury, aging, and being overweight. There is not a method to test for osteoarthritis, but doctors are able to diagnose patients with the disorder by viewing medical history, x-rays, lab tests, or physical exams. (Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoarthritis/DS00019 and http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/osteoarthritis.html).
TREATMENT OPTIONS: The goal of each patient and doctor is to manage the pain that the patient is experiencing and to improve the function of patient's daily activities. In order to do so, the doctor and patient must create a treatment plan to get the patient active and mobile again. Other than medication, there are different options to relieve patients of their pain, such as:
* Weight control
* Occupational and physical therapy
* Rest (Source: http://www.arthritis.org/conditions-treatments/disease-center/osteoarthritis/)
THE MOBILITY SHOE: The Dr. Comfort shoe was designed was specifically made for patients who suffer from diabetes, arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and Morton's neuroma. The shoes provide comfort to patients who suffer from these conditions with the special rocker soles, removable inserts, and open toe box. Each of the components of the shoe has helped patients who battle with uncomfortable pain. The mobility shoe makes it easier to walk by reducing the tension on the joints while providing an easier stride. It also has extra padding for comfort and protection, and it may ease the pressure from the joints. Dr. Comfort offers a variety of footwear ranging from athletic shoes to slippers so patients can be comforted at all times. Insurance is accepted for the shoes and doctors can determine if a patient is eligible for the treatment or not. (Source: https://www.drcomfort.com)
For More Information, Contact:
Najia Shakoor, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Rheumatologist
Rush University Medical Center