Insoles don't relieve knee pain
Osteoarthritis affects an estimated 57 million people in the United States, and while many older adults turn to insoles to help relieve pain in their knees, new research from the Boston University School of Medicine suggests that they may not be doing them much good..
In a study of 885 people with knee osteoarthritis, 502 were told to use the wedges, which typically have an angle of five or six degrees, designed to change the impact on the joint and, ideally, keep pressure off the point where cartilage had become diseased. Participants wore the insoles for periods of time from two weeks to two years, which accounted for 12 different trials. In a review of these studies, people who used lateral wedge insoles rated their pain a mere two points lower on a 20-point scale than those who used flat insoles or none at all. The researchers speculate that the placebo effect could have played a role in some of the studies, as well.
The researchers said that one of the more effective conservative treatments for knee osteoarthritis is wearing a knee brace. Another one that can be effective, but often is not considered, is exercise.