A team at the University of Melbourne has shown that a good shoe, particularly a specially designed one, can reduce knee load in people with knee osteoarthritis—the footwear can reduce knee load during walking as compared to traditionally designed athletic shoes.
This was seen in healthy people, in overweight people who are more at risk of developing osteoarthritis and in people with established painful knee osteoarthritis. Reducing knee pressure is important as higher knee loads are associated with a greater likelihood of developing osteoarthritis as well as faster progression of the disease in people who already have osteoarthritis.
Boot camp: Check osteoarthritis.
Knee osteoarthritis is the most common chronic musculoskeletal health condition currently affecting adults. The condition causes pain, physical disability, alterations to the way people move and psychological distress. However, even though there is no cure for the disease, things can improve with the right management.
Professor Kim Bennell, who led the team, says people shouldn’t suffer in silence. “Aids such as modified shoes, can reduce the ‘load’ on the inside of the knee and may slow progression of osteoarthritis. Research is happening right now that can help us find better treatments,” she says.
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