Mobility shoes helping with knee pain

December 7, 2013

One in two Americans will develop knee osteoarthritis at some point in their lifetime, and 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 on knee pain without medication or surgery? m

Every step you take puts five times your body's weight on your knees and joints—easily measured here in this lab—but for those with osteoarthritis, the pressure can be unbearable.

"When that, that, pain won't go away, it's, it's, debilitating," said Jim Harvey.

For Harvey, the pain began decades ago while carrying his two young girls.

"I missed a step, and I felt something go on my knee," he said.

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," said Najia Shakoor, MD, 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. So, you would still have some protective cover on your foot, but you would get a very natural barefoot-like gait," said Dr. Shakoor.

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, and try it out," Dr. Shakoor said.

For Jim, the shoes have been life-changing.

"Now it's like, U don't want to take them off," he said.

A simple shoe that's making life more comfortable. The mobility shoes run between $129 and $149.

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