Osteoarthritis is a common disease in western society today. On the one hand, pressure on the joints increases the more a person weighs and, on the other hand, strain is placed on the cartilage for much longer than just 50 years ago as life expectancy keeps increasing. Furthermore, civilised human beings spend most of their time walking on flat, hard everyday floors, and most shoe manufacturers follow the philosophy that a shoe has to support and guide the foot, and must have a small heel. However, our hips are not built for this type of stress. This results in massive improper strain and much faster wear (hip osteoarthritis).
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Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder of the hip joint, especially with advanced age, which is caused by wear of the cartilage surface on the hip joint socket and femoral head. It is the most common form of osteoarthritis in humans.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder, caused primarily by discrepancies between the load and load capacity of various parts of the joints and tissue.
Load-dependent pain directly in the hip joint is characteristic of the disorder. This pain radiates to the groin. However, pain frequently originates in the area of the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint as well.
Causes of osteoarthritis in the hip may include various (previous) diseases or (past) injuries involving the hip joint. However, no precise cause can be determined in about one quarter of all cases.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by excessive weight and excessive strain, such as occurs during extreme sports or when performing heavy physical labour. Causes also include changes in the cartilage metabolism with advanced age, metabolic disturbances, congenital malformations and acquired joint deformities, for example due to inflammatory joint diseases or after an injury.
Years of improper strain on the hip joint while walking is another possible cause (see Fig. 1 and 2) The greater the impact while walking and the less precise the movement, the faster the cartilage will wear. The main cause of improper strain on the hip joints is the long periods of time we in industrialised western nations spend sitting every day, something that nature did not intend. Sitting for hours leads to the progressive shortening of the hip flexors. As a result, the person is no longer able to achieve a physiologically correct gait with the upper body upright. This in turn leads to excessive strain on the neck and back musculature, incorrect knee and hip position and therefore increased cartilage wear.
Pain caused by osteoarthritis can lead to relieving postures, subsequently causing excessive strain on the joints and other body structures or leading to secondary disorders or secondary osteoarthritis. Furthermore, pain leads to a reduction in exercise and those who move less automatically put on more weight. This in turn has a negative effect on osteoarthritis complaints. Many affected by osteoarthritis are therefore caught in a downward spiral. The primary therapy objective is to escape this downward spiral.
Conservative treatment methods in case of hip osteoarthritis primarily consist of weight loss if necessary, and of movement exercises, which are put together and taught by a physiotherapist. The aim of such exercises is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint. Additional treatment approaches include massage, the application of heat and cold, orthopaedic devices, and surgery when conservative treatment is not successful. The objective of conservative therapy is to maintain joint function and reduce pain.
The kybun mat and kybun shoe are ideal for bringing more movement to everyday life and escaping the downward spiral of osteoarthritis – all without spending any additional time. Acute pain is relieved quickly and longer walking distances are possible again since strain on the hip joints is reduced.
The soft, elastic foam material acts as a ‘crumple zone’, effectively dampening impact on the joints during running and walking.
Exercise becomes more comfortable again, and hip complaints are reduced after just a few minutes in most cases. Those who like to exercise frequently find it much easier to shed extra pounds, which in turn reduces strain on the joints. Nearly all customers affected by osteoarthritis report a reduction in pain since they started wearing the kybun shoe.
Fig. 3: Ankle joints restricted by shoes, folding in with virtually no dampening of impact, knee highly flexed during heel strike, causing improper strain.
It’s not only the cushioning effect that helps alleviate pain. When standing the soft, elastic supporting underlay, one automatically keeps moving very slightly. When standing and walking on soft, elastic materials, the core stability musculature has to make a major contribution in order to stabilise the joints. Strong core stabilising musculature ensures an upright posture, resulting in more precise movements in the joints. Lack of exercise due to pain results in long-term muscle loss (amyotrophia). Signs of excessive strain in the hip joint can develop more quickly as a result. The ability to stabilise the joints under strain can be improved again through proprioceptive, sensorimotor and coordinative training on unstable surfaces. This counteracts the progression of osteoarthritis. Training the core stabilising musculature is easy to integrate into everyday life by wearing the kybun shoe.
Attention! Short-term effects are often confused with lasting effects.
The adjustment processes in the body triggered by the kybun shoe can take months or even years. Achieving lasting change is a protracted process.
Despite that, the effect of the soft, elastic material can also be felt quickly, for example in the relaxation of tense muscles and the alleviation of pressure points. These short-term effects must not be confused with the effects in the long run, since the long-term adjustment process cannot progress far enough in a week to be perceptible.
Short-term effects, on the other hand, can disappear again just as quickly as they came, or can even turn into complaints if you do not take the necessary breaks in the beginning.
Therefore, it is important to understand that an initial reaction and a reduction of the positive feeling in the first few weeks with the kybun shoe does not mean that the kybun shoe is no longer working, but merely that the short-term sense of well-being is declining!
Prevention with kybun
Everyone knows that the body exhibits signs of wear over time, and that problems while walking and running are bound to occur sooner or later. Yet most people only start to consciously perceive their body as a fragile and transient structure once they experience problems. In most cases, however, it is already too late because irreversible damage such as cartilage wear has already occurred.
Therefore it is important to act before pain is felt or is increasing. The kybun mat and kybun shoe help protect the joints and prevent osteoarthritis even in youth.
Click here for the general initial reactions experienced by kybun mat and kybun shoe beginners: Initial reactions
For information about the special kybun shoe exercises or the basic kybun mat exercises, please click here: kybun exercises
The following adaptations to the standard implementation of interval walking are important in case of hip osteoarthritis :
- Both exercises are important
- If you feel pain during the fast exercise, take small steps and walk with a higher stride frequency
- Slow exercises help rebuild the stabilising musculature around the hip joint
- Loosening movements help relieve tense hip muscles
- Upright body posture
- Do not make your steps too long
- Everyday/leisure: Walk with the kybun shoe or use the kybun mat as much as possible. Take note of fatigue > perform the kybun exercises regularly and take a short break if needed.
- Job: Sit as little as possible. Alternate sitting and standing in the beginning, and take along replacement shoes to change into
- If you feel unsafe/too unstable in the kybun shoe even after a test walk, we recommend a second generation kybun shoe model. These have a somewhat wider sole in the area of the midfoot, providing added stability. Seek advice from your local kybun expert.
- If you find the second generation kybun shoe model too unstable for you as well, we recommend the kybun mat. You can choose the thickness you are comfortable with (the thicker, the less stable, the more intensive the training). You can also hold on to a fixed object. This can be helpful especially in the beginning after the operation, until you regain confidence in the hip.
- Precise movements are essential with osteoarthritis of the hip. Pay attention to exact movements and be sure to take a break in case of fatigue or weakness. Lateral/medial rolling of the ankle joint on the soft, elastic material has to be corrected so that the load is applied to the foot, knee and hip with proper axial alignment. Read more under ‘Lateral/medial rolling of the ankle joint’.
- Contact a kybun dealer you trust if you have further questions, feel insecure or if there is no alleviation of pain when using the kybun shoe even though you are following the tips.
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