What is better, a full length in-shoe wedge or only a heel wedge?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Scientists are comparing full-length in-shoe wedges and heel wedges to understand which type provides the most symptom relief for osteoarthritis symptoms. Wedges are shoe inserts that redistribute weight. The resulting shift can help reduce pain if you have osteoarthritis in the knees or other parts of the lower extremities. More research needs to be compiled before we know whether one works better than the other.
In-shoe inserts can correct knee adduction, movement of the knee while you walk, and act as a shock absorber to take some stress off the damaged knee. Since the heel is in contact with the ground for just 30% to 40% of each step, a full length in-shoe lateral wedge may be more effective than a heel wedge because it supports the entire foot, rather than just the heal.

Evidence that full-length wedge-shaped insoles and heel wedges slow the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee is mixed. Some studies find that they reduce pain and stiffness, and enable people to cut down on pain medication. Other studies find they provide limited, if any, benefit. A doctor should be consulted before using either full-length wedge-shaped insoles or heel wedges.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.