When shopping for shoes, it's not all about style -- especially if you have osteoarthritis. Your choice of footwear can affect the load or stress put on your knee joint and consequently impact knee osteoarthritis.
A lateral-wedge insole is worn inside the shoe. It is thinner at the instep and thicker at the outer edge of the foot. The angle of the lateral-wedge insole can be customized for individual patients.
Lateral-wedge insoles alter knee biomechanics during walking by reducing what is known as varus torque (twisting of the knee inward). Increased load across the knee joint is associated with the development of knee osteoarthritis.
Knee braces are another way to provide stability, support, and pain relief for patients with knee osteoarthritis. You should consider trying a knee brace to see if there is noticeable benefit. The knee brace would be a complementary treatment, to go along with any other treatments being used. Knee braces should not replace other treatment options.
Most osteoarthritis patients would like to be active, but too often something gets in the way -- whether it's pain, fatigue, or actual barriers in people's homes or communities. Occupational therapy can break down those barriers and promote wellness in people with hip and knee osteoarthritis.
Joint Protection and Energy Conservation
Joint protection can reduce stress on arthritic joints and decrease pain. Several joint protection principles, which if followed, will help conserve energy and preserve joint function. The advice is simple, but you must be mindful of proper movements and recognize body signals.
Assistive Devices for Activities of Daily Living
Limitations caused by osteoarthritis can affect daily living activities. It's one of the most troublesome aspects of living with osteoarthritis. Numerous assistive devices help compensate for specific limitations.
Points to Remember
The non-drug treatments for osteoarthritis focus on teaching you about the disease, strengthening your body, managing symptoms, protecting your joints, and getting beyond your limitations. The non-drug treatments can work well in combination. Ask your doctor what is appropriate for you.
Recommendations for the Medical Management of Osteoarthritis of the Hip and Knee. Arthritis and Rheumatism. September 2000.