My husband is a former tennis player who competed in Europe and then spent summers teaching tennis in Austria. Afterwards, he switched to playing club level squash and now is an avid pickleball player competing in North America. However, his knee pain can really affect how well he moves on the court.
His knee OA (osteoarthritis) is getting worse. He has been wearing foot orthotics for a long time to treat various foot issues from Morton’s Neuroma to Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction. He often plays in an OTC knee stabilizing brace, and his next option is a custom knee brace and consulting with his knee surgeon. Physiotherapy has helped to some degree, but realistically, his biomechanics are just not the greatest.
A literature review by Baghaei et al (2017) concluded that both knee braces and foot orthotics help improve function and pain symptoms by reducing the knee adduction moment (KAM). My husband is very bow-legged – the technical term is Genu Varum and Tibial Varum. There is a higher KAM in a person who is bow-legged. So while the likelihood of my husband requiring surgery is high, in the meantime, he can be active with pickleball and play with our daughter at the park and toboggan hill when he wears his foot orthotics and knee brace.
If you have knee OA and are not sure what type of treatment is next for you, consult with your family or sports doctor who may refer you to a Canadian Certified Pedorthist.
References featured in this post are available upon request.