One of the remarkable, non-surgical alternative treatments for Osteoarthritis, gaining attention in the UK, is the Apos Shoe. Developed as a response to the limitations of surgical interventions; namely long waiting times, the invasive nature of surgery and the post surgical recovery time required. The Apos Shoe offers a unique approach to Osteoarthritis management.
This therapy uses a shoe device with specialised pods on the base of the shoe, that are positioned to create a pain free walking gait. In addition, the pods create controlled imbalances in a person’s gait and posture. By inducing these imbalances while walking, the Apos Shoe stimulates the muscles that support the pain free walking gait. Over time, the muscles strengthen to support your joints in this normal pain free gait.
Having been trained in these shoes for almost a year, we are able to offer some case studies and conclusions to their effectiveness, if you have been considering trying these shoes yourself.
Case study 1:
Our first case study is a 62 year old lady who had such pain she almost couldn’t walk into the clinic. Her ability to load the affected leg was so profound we weren’t sure whether the shoe could make any difference. After the initial assessment and adjusting the pods, we got this lady walking, not pain free, but she was loading her leg fully, albeit still with a limp.
At the first check up 6 weeks later, she walked in with only a limp, fully weight bearing on the affected leg. Though she still had a limp, she reported much less pain on both walking and standing. It wasn’t just her leg that was improving, her back pain had also improved considerably.
Case study 2
This 76 year old lady had severe Osteoarthritis in one knee and moderate arthritis in the other. Within a month of using the Apos shoes, the pain in her moderately affected knee had all but disappeared, even when not using the Apos Shoes. She decided to have the severely affected knee replaced with surgery. So we ensured she could fully load that knee, by altering the pods to give her the strength she would need for the surgery to be successful. Post surgery and despite heavily loading the moderately arthritic knee after the surgery, she continued to be pain free in this knee. Post surgery, the shoes were reconfigured to both protect the still arthritic knee and to help her recover strength and function in the replaced knee.
Case Study 3
This 72 year old lady was struggling with Osteoarthritis in her back and both knees. Her mobility was severely limited and was affecting her ability to socialise. At the initial assessment session, we were able to remove the pain in both her knees while walking in the shoes and significantly improve her back position and pain.
At the 4 week follow up, she said she was sore in her legs. We assessed this and found this to be down to muscular pain, rather than joint pain. This appeared to be from both the additional walking she had been doing and the effect of the shoes working muscles she hadn’t accessed for years. We suggested a regular monthly sports massage which helped to relieve this pain and allowed her muscles to adapt to their new workload.
At the 4 month follow up, she could really start to feel the improvements, saying she was walking a lot more and although still in pain it was reduced and she was able to get out and about in a way she couldn’t previously. At her 8 month follow up, she beamed at us saying she had managed a 2hr walk around the grounds of a stately home, something she could only dreamed of doing the year before.
We are still following up all of these case studies and some will add on some follow ups after the 12 month program has come to an end.
So what do we think of the APOS Shoe?
We have found that these shoes have a profoundly positive affect on people’s mobility and pain levels. The changes really seem to start around the 3 month mark and from there gains in strength and mobility are shown as well as dramatic pain reduction. We have found that it is best not to underestimate the amount of work your muscles are doing whilst wearing the Apos Shoes. This has led us to suggest a monthly sports massage is used alongside the shoes, to ensure you get the best results.
Find out more about the Apos Shoe here.
For more information on the use of Apos and the NHS take a look here.