Putting your foot in it: but shoes can make a difference

October 21, 2011

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have proven that a modified shoe can reduce knee load in people with knee osteoarthritis.

The research has been carried out by Professor Kim Bennell and her team at the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine at the University of Melbourne and supported by an Australian Research Council grant with ASICS, an athletic footwear company as the industry partner. Results showed that a specially-designed shoe can reduce knee load during walking, 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 .

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.

Knee osteoarthritis is the most common chronic musculoskeletal health condition currently affecting adult Australians, with 1.6 million Australians affected by the disease.

The condition causes pain, , alterations to the way people move and . However, even though there is no cure for the disease, things can improve with the right management.

The University of Melbourne researchers are currently seeking volunteers for a range of research projects designed to improve outcomes for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis. These projects include investigations of footwear, pain training, exercise, physiotherapy as well as to see how changes with arthritis and certain treatments.

Professor Bennell said 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 even better treatments,” she said.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
This is why I have worn Birkenstocks for 35 years :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.