AN INNOVATIVE pair of bio-mechanical shoes which could transform the lives of people suffering knee pain are to be launched in Scotland.
The project, known as Apos-Therapy, has created footwear containing four adjustable pods which are integrated into the sole of the shoes to adjust the gait.
Balanced Physiotherapy Clinic, in Edinburgh, will be the first place in Scotland to offer the respite for knee pain, a condition which affects more than half of Scots aged 35 to 60, according to recent figures. Knee pain is one of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis and patients are often forced to resort to invasive knee surgery.
Designed by orthopaedic surgeons and physiotherapists, the Pertupods in the shoe send a flurry of signals to the brain and muscles to correct the way the person walks, alleviating knee pain and strain on the lower back.
Patients are strapped into ankle boots for short periods of time to build up muscle strength, explained Judith Paterson, a chartered physiotherapist whose Edinburgh clinic is pioneering the therapy in Scotland for the first time.
Ms Paterson, from Balanced Physiotherapy, said: “We use this treatment for people who aren’t responding to ordinary physiotherapy, who might do the exercises but it only helps them for a few days or weeks.
“For patients like these there haven’t been many options in the past.”
The clinic uses a laser-based gait analysis technique where a patient will walk along a treadmill and muscles are examined to see how they are placing their weight when they move.
Then a pair of shoes will be calibrated to ensure the pods are in the right place to challenge the relevant muscles. Ms Paterson said: “The muscles are all having to work together to challenge the pods so it is a way of training them out of their old habits.”