Being in the right pair of shoes is important for OA patients. Avoid footwear that places additional load on your knees. Also, look for shoes that give you the comfort of barefoot walking.
Osteoarthritis (OA) results from the everyday wear and tear over a period of time, of the articulate cartilage - the smooth white tissue at the ends of your bones.
By 2025, India is projected to have 60 million+ OA cases, affecting eight out of ten people aged above 60, giving the country the unenviable reputation of being the ‘OA capital of the world’. Being in the right pair of shoes is important for just about anyone, and more so, for people with OA. The right shoes can ease foot pain, while ill-fitting footwear can make life worse by aggravating knee pain and inhibiting mobility.
First, what kind of footwear should OA patients completely shun? Clogs, shoes with raised heels, especially the ones with no fasteners, and supportive sneakers should be avoided by people with OA. Both clogs and high-heels tend to bring undue pressure on the knee region; in fact, studies reveal that people who routinely wear high heels are at an elevated risk of OA as compared to others.
Supportive sneakers provide excess arch support, so when the foot touches the ground, the arch fails to collapse well enough and, as a result, the foot doesn’t roll inwards the way it should, in order to absorb and distribute the stress of the impact evenly across the foot (under-pronation).
What kind of footwear is preferable for OA patients?
People with OA should consider footwear that will afford them the pleasure of barefoot walking or something very close to it. Soft, flexible lightweight sneakers, flat ballet shoes, standard daily shoes but soft ones, and flip-flops are preferable, since they closely mimic the patterns of barefoot walking and do not choke the feet and cause lesser joint pain or discomfort. Besides, the provision for arch support is minimal.
Consult your doctor or physician, before you purchase any shoes, to know the most suitable footwear for you/ your body type.
Typically, orthopedists and physical therapists approve the use of flip-flops along, especially among old people, considering that there is nothing adverse about these commonplace “slippers.” As a thumb rule, simple frills-free shoes are the best option and any footwear that hurts your feet is a strict no-no!
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