Shoe Wedges Reduce Osteoarthritis Knee Pain

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Using wedges in your shoes may not only reduce pain in your knees while walking, it may also slow the progression of your knee osteoarthritis.

People who suffer from osteoarthritis know that walking can be extremely painful. Walking tends to put the most strain on the middle of your knee, and if you have osteoarthritis there, your knee tends to rotate inward with the force of walking. This significantly impacts a person's mobility.

Other than surgery and medication, few solutions have proved effective for walking-induced knee pain. This is especially unfortunate for the elderly, because osteoarthritis of the knee severely curtails their mobility.

But researchers now suggest that wedges worn inside the shoe can provide some relief. The researchers inserted a series of wedges of various degrees (nonwedged insole, 5-degree insole, 10-degree insole, and no insole ) into participants' shoes. Participants were asked to walk at their own speed across a room while a video-based analysis system checked 3-dimensional positions.

The researchers found that although the speed of walking was not affected by the insoles, they significantly reduced the inward rotation of the knee while walking. Both the 5-degree insole and 10-degree insole provided pain relief, although the 10-degree insole was deemed uncomfortable when used with the participants' regular shoes, causing constriction and cramping. (The researchers noted that purchasing extra-depth shoes would probably take care of this problem).

Bottom line: if your knees ache when you walk, putting these shoe wedges in your shoes may deliver welcome arthritis pain relief.

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