Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

‘Mobility shoes’ take a load off for knee osteoarthritis sufferers

In memory of my mother-in-law who had severe osteoarthritis…

From the 8 October 2013 EurekAlert

(CHICAGO) – The results of a new study by bone and joint experts at Rush University Medical Center suggest that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who wear flat, flexible footwear, which allows natural foot mobility and provide sufficient support for the foot, had significant reduction in knee loading—the force placed upon the joint during daily activities.

Findings from the study were published in an issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

The research led by Dr. Najia Shakoor, a rheumatologist at Rush, shows that long term use of the such footwear, called “mobility shoes,” helped OA patients adapt their gait or how they walk, which improved knee loading, even when the mobility shoes were no longer worn.

In previous studies, Shakoor and colleagues from Rush found that walking barefoot as well as with ‘mobility shoes,’ which are designed to mimic barefoot mechanics, was linked to reduced knee loading compared to when walking with regular footwear worn by participants. However, the authors thought the long-term effects of the specialized footwear need further studying.

“There is much interest in biomechanical interventions, such as orthotic inserts, knee braces, and footwear that aim to improve pain and delay OA progression by decreasing impact on joints,” said Shakoor, the principal investigator of the study who is also an associate professor in the department of internal medicine at Rush. “In the present study, we expand understanding of our earlier research by evaluating the impact of the mobility footwear on gait after six months of use.”

More than 27 million Americans over the age of 25 have some form of OA, which causes painful swelling and stiffness in the hand, foot, knee or hip joints. According to existing research, doctor-diagnosed arthritis will swell to 67 million U.S. adults by 2030. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 16% of adults 45 years of age and older are burdened with symptomatic knee OA.

The Rush team recruited 16 participants with knee OA, obtaining a baseline gait with participants walking in their own shoes, mobility shoes and barefoot. Participants wore the mobility shoes for six hours each day for six days per week and patient gait was evaluated at 6, 12 and 24 weeks in all conditions.

Findings suggest that by 24 weeks, participants wearing mobility footwear saw an 18 percent reduction in knee adduction moment (KAM), which is the load on the inner or medial aspect of the knee when walking compared to baseline knee loading in their own footwear. This is where most people develop knee OA.

No significant difference in KAM was found between walking with mobility shoes and barefoot. Compared to baseline, analyses indicate an 11 percent and 10 percent reduction in KAM for OA patients walking in their own shoes and barefoot, respectively, suggesting the mobility shoes may have “re-trained” participant’s gait.

“Patients with OA who use flat, flexible footwear may experience a significant reduction in knee loading with continued use,” said Shakoor. “Our investigation provides evidence that footwear choice may be an important consideration in managing knee OA.

 

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The Rush research team involved in the study includes Roy H. Lidtke, Markus A. Wimmer, Rachel A. Mikolaitis, Kharma C. Foucher, Laura E. Thorp, Louis F. Fogg and Joel A. Block.

Please note: Based on the study results, a patented shoe design called X-Sole Relief Technology in Flex-OA has been developed by Dr. Comfort. The shoe has been available on the market since January 2013.

 

 

October 14, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On your feet a lot? Looking for advice on shoe selection/foot care? Good short article from a doc

From a January posting by  at Kevin MD.com

Excerpt from the article

Basic concepts to choose good shoes for work in the hospital

  • Look for good support.  The classic “nursing” or “operating room” shoe exists for a reason – they are designed to provide the support your feet need during long days of standing and walking.
  • If you are not in scrubs, you’ll still need OSHA compliant, comfortable shoes.  They can be stylish, but make sure they fit the overall professional image you are trying to achieve. Check out San Antonio Shoes (SAS), Clarks, Rockport and Ecco.
  • If you will be standing for long periods on rounds or in procedures, think about getting shoes that slip on and off.  When you are standing for a long time, being able to slide out of your shoes becomes important.  If you’ve been standing for hours it really helps to stretch your calves and change the pressure points.  It’s also easier to step out of your shoes all together and stand barefoot for a little while.  When you are sitting, you can slip them off and let your feet breathe. Dansko Professional clogs are expensive but are probably the best in this class.  Sanita clogs are supposedly now made in the original Dansko factory.  Birkenstock, Keen or Clarks clogs are good alternatives. Crocs are tempting but have poor support, minimal ventilation and have been banned in some hospitals.
  • Try to get shoes that breathe.  …

Read the entire article

January 2, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Are toning shoes unsafe? Reports of injuries raise concern

From the Consumer Reports article

Ads for Skechers Shape-ups and similar toning shoes suggest they can help give you a firm behind and shapely legs. But our recent analysis of complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product complaint database suggest the shoes could send you to a doctor’s office or even an emergency room….

…Ads for Skechers Shape-ups and similar toning shoes suggest they can help give you a firm behind and shapely legs. But our recent analysis of complaints to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new product complaint database suggest the shoes could send you to a doctor’s office or even an emergency room….

…Steve Lamar, Executive Vice President of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, a trade group to which Skechers belongs, told us that the injuries often stem from misuse of the shoes. He said these are exercise products and that there is risk with any exercise……

Click here to read the complete Consumer Report article

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May 26, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

   

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