Bone and Joint Health

Orthopedic Shoes: Relief for Arthritis and Joint-Pain Sufferers

It's well known that maintaining physical activity as you age helps you sustain a healthy lifestyle, but when your feet hurt due to pre-existing arthritis or joint pain, even daily activities such as standing or walking become overwhelming. Pain reduces your joint movement, limits your mobility, increases your chance of falls, decreases your balance, and changes your overall quality of life.

Luckily, you do not have to live with pain. Making good choices for orthopedic shoes helps you avoid future foot problems, decreases foot pain, fixes structural issues, and provides much-needed joint relief.

What Causes Foot Pain?

Each step we take uses an intricate system of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The constant weight this network carries explains why many women and men experience joint pain due to disease or injury. Current Opinion in Rheumatology reports that nearly 25 percent of adults have some problem with their feet, with occurrences rising as they age. Foot pain can be related to a number of causes, including ill-fitting footwear, injuries, and certain types of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). RA and OA can cause pain in your toes or other joints, stiffness in your toe joints, and swelling around one or more toe joints.

Shoes to Avoid

Ill-fitting, low-support shoes is one of the main reasons for foot pain and problems. If you have arthritis or other joint issues, wearing the wrong type of shoe will worsen current problems and cause damage and difficulties to many other joints later on.

While modern fashion pumps, sandals, clogs, and low-profile shoes might look great, most fashion footwear is not designed for comfort and support throughout the day. Shoes that are too loose, too tight, or do not have the proper arch, sole, or heel support could be doing damage to your feet.

Choosing Orthopedic Shoes

Good orthopedic shoes can do a number of things to promote foot health. First, they decrease the possibility of future foot injuries or pain associated with joint problems. Second, specialty shoes can redistribute your weight and reduce pressure on sensitive areas of your feet, delivering stress-relieving cushioning and support to the heel, arch, and forefoot. Finally, they can help correct walking and structural deviations.

Research from U.S. Pharmacist indicates that orthopedic shoes play an important role in the care of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis of the foot, knee, and hip. When shopping for specialty shoes, it is important to know your foot type. A podiatrist, physical therapist, or orthopedist can help you determine your arch pattern, foot width, flexibility, and any areas that may need special support.

Modern orthopedic shoes have now extended to athletic shoes, loafers, sandals, dress shoes, and boots to fit your style needs. To find the best shoes for your foot health, it is important to look for orthopedic shoes with the American Podiatric Medical Association's Seal of Acceptance.

Proper foot care is a significant part of your health care. Even though arthritis and joint pain have a tendency to come and go, after a while the pain may become more continuous. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing new or worsening foot problems or joint pain, and make the decision to invest in a pair of specialty shoes if you need them.

Posted in Bone and Joint Health

Christina Bhattacharya is a freelance journalist, creative writer, and content marketer living in California. She has been involved in the health and fitness field since 1999. Christina holds an A.S. in physical therapy from the Community College of the Air Force, a B.A. in technical communications from University of Maryland University College, and a M.S. in health management from Lindenwood University. She also maintains various health, fitness, and management certifications.

More articles from this writer

Understanding and Protecting Against the Zika Virus

Teaching Kids About Germs at School

Safe Routes to School: Walking and Biking Safety Tips for Your Kids


*This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute health care advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or physician before making health care decisions.