New research out of Australia suggests that stiff shoe inserts may be helpful for individuals dealing with osteoarthritis of their big toe joint.
For the study, researchers divided a group of 100 individuals with osteoarthritis of the big toe into two groups. One group received a stiff carbon fiber shoe insert while the others received a sham insert that was stiff in the heel but soft on the mid and front foot. Patients were asked to wear the inserts in their shoes for three months, and enough data was collected on 85 patients for researchers to conduct an analysis.
Researchers found that individuals in both groups reported less pain, but there was a bigger improvement in pain scores from patients with the stiff shoe insert. 61 percent of people in the stiff insert group reported that their pain was at least moderately better than before the study, compared to only 34 percent who could say the same in the other group.
Researchers say that the stiff insert may have led to better results because it limited movement of the joint when a person was walking.
“The stiff inserts limit movement of the joint to only 5 or 10 degrees,” said Melbourne podiatrist Professor Hylton Menz (PhD), adding that the reduced movement of the joint at the end-range of a normal gait helped to decrease pain levels when it was often felt the greatest.
Treating Osteoarthritis of the Big Toe
Stiff shoe inserts may help to reduce pain in patients with osteoarthritis of the big toe, but if you’re interested in treating the problem instead of just reducing your pain, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office. Dr. Silverman is the foremost expert on the Cartiva implant for big toe arthritis in the greater Twin Cities area, and he’s helped a number of patients eliminate pain and increase movement in the big toe joint through the procedure.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Cartiva implant, or you want to read up on Dr. Silverman’s experience with the operation, check out a few of the blog posts we’ve included below, or better yet, give his office a call and set up a consultation. We’d be happy to take a look at your foot and go over all of your options!