Here’s a piece of health advice for those who suffer gout: take note of what shoes you are wearing. A new study shows that wearing poor footwear is common among gout patients and leads directly to more pain and greater disability.
According to the brand new study, gout patients who make poor footwear choices experienced higher foot-related pain, impairment and disability. Gout patients also reported that comfort, fit, support and cost were the most important factors for selecting footwear.
Also read: Foods to Avoid if You Have Gout
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by the crystallization of uric acid within the joints and other tissues. It leads to severe pain and swelling, with the majority of cases affecting the feet — particularly the big toe. A study published last month showed that doctor-diagnosed gout has risen over the past 20 years and now affects 8.3 million individuals in the U.S. Also, older studies have shown that gout contributes to changes in people’s gait (in order to avoid pain) and thus sets the stage for impaired foot function.
Here, New Zealand researchers recruited 50 patients with a history of gout and assessed each case, overall function, foot impairment, and disability. They assessed what footwear the patients had and why they chose it.
They discovered that gout patients often wore improper footwear and experienced moderate to severe foot pain, impairment and disability. Roughly 56% of patients made good footwear choices by wearing walking shoes, athletic sneakers, or oxfords. These are more apt to provide pain relief and not make patients walk funny. Of the remaining patients, 42% wore footwear that was considered poor. These include sandals, flip-flops, slippers, or moccasins.
Poor footwear lacks support, has improper cushioning, is less stable, and has less motion control. Those gout patients who wore poor shoes or sandals reported higher foot-related impairment and disability. More than half of all participants wore shoes that were 12 months or older and showed excessive wear patterns.
Basically, the idea here is that if you have gout or are at risk of it, you should make sure you have good shoes that are stable and well-cushioned. As well, it’s a good idea to replace shoes once they become less able to fulfill these qualities.
After all, you don’t want to stop doing physical activity.