Suffering From Osteoarthritis? It’s Time to Reexamine Your Footwear

Osteoarthritis is a chronic yet very common joint disease. In fact over 27 million people in the US alone suffer from this painful condition according to the Arthritis Foundation. If you are one of those who are beginning to struggle with everyday life due to this disease you will appreciate that your footwear along with a few lifestyle changes can dramatically improve your condition. How? 

Although Osteoarthritis can be found in the hips, lower back, neck, and even fingers and toes, it is most commonly found in the knees. When the cartilage that cushions the surface between the two bones wears down, the area becomes stiff, swollen, and painful. Unfortunately, there is no way to undo its damage, however exercise can improve the strength of the muscle and relieve much of the pain and stiffness. 

This is where the right set of shoes comes in. Exercising while coping with osteoarthritis will be somewhat uncomfortable. The correct footwear will ease the pain and make your workout more efficient.  

What kind of footwear should you be looking into? One option is stability shoes. These are made of a firm, cushioned material primarily in the midsole and heal. This style prevents the foot and ankle from rolling inward more than it needs to. As the name suggests, these shoes give the knees stability by keeping the foot in the neutral position, thus relieving stress from your joint. These are especially helpful if your feet have the tendency to roll in while walking or running.

Another common solution is athletic shoes of the neutral style. These shoes don’t need to correct rolling as the former are designed to do. Instead they absorb shock and give extra cushioning, which in turn protects your knees from experiencing further damage to the joint. This style is also the ideal shoe if your doctor, physical therapists, or chiropractor recommends orthotic insoles. 

Things you should keep in mind when choosing your next pair of athletic shoes:

·      Look for well-cushioned shoes to prevent shock.

·      Firm midsoles will keep your body in alignment. 

·      Arch support is a must.

·      Size matters. Too big or too small, your body will suffer if your shoes don’t fit properly.

·      Tightly lace your shoes to prevent rolling, friction, and blisters.

·      Never “break in” shoes. If they don’t fit in the store, don’t waste your money.

Buying the right athletic shoe is important for your overall joint health but it can be tricky to find the fit right for you. So talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor. They will give you suggestions of what style is best for you and your unique body. 

 

 

Josh Evans