lady gaga at doctor appointment

Update: Lady Gaga has confirmed that her chronic pain is caused by fibromyalgia.

In Lady Gaga’s upcoming Netflix documentary “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” viewers will get a glimpse of Gaga’s life away from the spotlight — including her struggles with chronic pain. While promoting the documentary, Gaga opened up about why she included these difficult scenes in the film and the support she hopes her fellow pain warriors feel while watching it.

At a press conference with the film’s director, Chris Moukarbel, in Toronto ahead of the premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival today, Gaga reportedly became teary-eyed as the conversation turned to why she chose to document her struggles with chronic pain. She said it’s “hard, but liberating,” and explained that she believes pain is a “microphone.”

“My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is. So I hope people watching it who do struggle with chronic pain know that they’re not alone. It’s freeing for me… and I want people that struggle with it to hear me,” Gaga said.

She also acknowledged the shame that is often associated with chronic pain, but that struggling with something doesn’t make her “weak.”

There is a degree of self-deprecation and shame with feeling in pain a lot. And I want people that watch it — that think there’s no way I live [with chronic pain] because they see me dance and sing and don’t think that could possibly be — to know I struggle with things like them. I work through it and it can be done. We have to stick together. I don’t have to hide it because I’m afraid it’s weak. It’s a part of me, and I’m grateful to Chris for caring. The compassion is overwhelming. That’s why it makes me emotional. It’s very touching.

Moukarbel said it was “incredibly hard” filming Gaga while she was in pain, but said she still wanted him to keep shooting. “I think she was very aware of other people who struggle with similar chronic pain. She is not even sure how to deal with it, and that’s a reality,” he said.

Last month, Gaga released a series of short clips from the documentary, including one that showed her at a doctor’s appointment discussing treatment options for an unnamed health condition.

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#GagaFiveFootTwo

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Gaga has spoken about her health issues before — in 2010, she revealed she had tested “borderline positive” for lupus, the autoimmune condition that led to her Aunt Joanne’s death before Gaga was born.

Last year, Gaga posted on Instagram about her chronic pain and shared the methods she uses to treat it. “Having a frustrating day with chronic pain, but I find myself feeling so blessed to have such strong intelligent female doctors,” she wrote.

I was so overwhelmed by the empathy, confessions & personal stories of chronic pain in response to my previous post I thought what the hell. Maybe I should just share some of my personal remedies I've acquired over the past five years. Everyone's body and condition is different U should consult w ure Dr. but what the heck here we go! When my body goes into a spasm one thing I find really helps is infrared sauna. I've invested in one. They come in a large box form as well as a low coffin-like form and even some like electric blankets! You can also look around your community for a infrared sauna parlor or homeopathic center that has one. I combine this treatment with marley silver emergency blankets (seen in the photo) that trap in the heat and are very cheap, reusable and effective for detox as well as weight loss! In order to not overheat my system and cause more inflammation i follow this with either a VERY cold bath, ice bath (if u can stand it, it's worth it) or the most environmentally savvy way is to keep many reusable cold packs in the freezer ( or frozen peas' n carrots'!) and pack them around the body in all areas of pain. Hope this helps some of you, it helps me to keep doing my passion, job and the things I love even on days when I feel like I can't get out of bed. Love you and thank you for all your positive messages.

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Earlier this year, Gaga appeared on the cover of Arthritis Magazine. She told the magazine that she had been dealing with chronic pain due to a broken hip and synovitis, an inflammatory joint condition.

“Gaga: Five Foot Two” will begin streaming on Netflix on September 22.

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I am an introvert. And because I am an introvert, when I am in pain I react a certain way. I retreat more and more. I get more reclusive. Less talkative. And more stoic. I don’t tend to show my pain through irritation or anger, but the pain will make me frustrated, angry and irritated. No, I am silent, stoic and… retreat. And because of this, when my pain was at its worst and I was struggling to work and function, I retreated and had no energy left for any type of social life. That, really, gets cut first. And as an introvert, at first you don’t even notice it. The isolation of it doesn’t even kick in till quite some time later when it actually becomes a problem. Maybe not at all, because the pain had made me so depressed I didn’t want to be around people at all. I self-isolated. It is in my nature to do so.

 

But like I have always said, pain has a radius and it affects all those around us in some way or another. So I became a hermit. And my spouse did too. He didn’t want to socialize without me. He is likewise an introvert, so that makes sense really. And he would feel guilty when he did. So slowly he became an introvert. And I didn’t notice it at first. It was like it was a mutual choice. But for me it was a choice made by pain, so not a choice at all at the time since the pain wasn’t managed. And my pain was influencing his behavior. It was really unfortunate.

I did notice it once the pain began to be managed. It was like when spring hits and you have cabin fever from a long winter… you have an itch to be out and about. I still have pain, but I had some management of it relative to what I had and some capacity to cope with it. And I became aware of the fact we, as a couple, were hermits in the extreme and that wasn’t good at all. So I made sure we did say yes to social things. And when I couldn’t go I insisted he go himself and it was not an issue. Because I could go the next time.

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In the end, I realized my psychologist was right. People do need to socialize. Even introverts. We do not need it as much or for as long a duration. But we do need it nevertheless. It does indeed boost the mood. We are not exactly social butterflies, mind you. But we do get out and about with enough frequency that we are not extreme recluses anymore.

My pain and illness is going to impact my spouse and others. It just will. It is going to impact plans I make, or try to make. It just will. But I will not “no” us out of a life. However, this attitude is brought to you by pain management. Without that, we do cut down to the bare essentials. However, it is possible we can get better pain management and with it some quality of life back. Better is always possible.

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Thinkstock photo via Ryan McVay.


It’s September, which means Pain Awareness Month is in full swing. But while you may want to get involved and help educate people about the issues facing the community, it can be surprisingly difficult to find meaningful ways to help — especially ones that aren’t too expensive, time-consuming or require you to be an expert in policy and advocacy strategy. Aside from telling friends or writing a Facebook status, what else can you do to support Pain Awareness Month?

Every person with chronic pain deserves to have their voice heard, so we found eight ways you can get raise awareness this month (and hey — these are also great options for the chronic pain allies in your life). Most of these ideas don’t require you to open your wallet or even leave your house. And our suggestions don’t “expire” in October — you can use these strategies to advocate for the chronic pain community all year round.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Change your profile photo. The U.S. Pain Foundation is offering a free graphic program that places a Pain Awareness Month template over your photo, so you can make sure all your social media followers are informed. Update your profile photo here.

2. Follow chronic pain advocacy organizations on social media. These organizations will help keep you informed about the latest developments in pain research, politics and advocacy opportunities. In addition to the advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations dedicated to specific diagnoses, here are some general chronic pain organizations to check out:

American Chronic Pain Association

U.S. Pain Foundation

Chronic Pain Research Alliance

International Pain Foundation

3. Contact your elected officials to share your opinion about proposed legislation. You can write a letter, email or call, though government staffers say calling is generally most effective. In a now-viral series of tweets, a former Congressional staff member said that while it’s impossible for staffers to respond personally to all emails and letters, a high volume of calls about a particular issue really gets staffers’ and lawmakers’ attention. You don’t have to be an expert on the issue; just share your personal story and reasoning behind your position. Find out how to contact your elected officials here.

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4. Go to your elected officials’ town hall meetings. All members of Congress hold town hall meetings periodically, though few of their constituents actually attend. But this is the best (and for most people, only) way to tell your representative in person what you think, ask them questions, and help them put a face to issues they may not have a personal connection to. Also, filling a town hall with a large group of advocates can have a big impact. To find a local town hall, sign up for your local senators’ and representatives’ email lists and check their websites. You can also check the Town Hall Project for lists of upcoming events in your area.

5. Write an op-ed for your local newspaper or news website. The general public is often unaware of the issues chronic pain patients face. The pain patient’s perspective may not be fully represented in news articles, especially when it comes to hot-button issues like the opioid crisis. Sharing your story can help people learn the human side of these issues. The U.S. Pain Foundation offers an op-ed sample, list of basic components of an op-ed, and guide for submitting an effective op-ed here. (You can also submit to The Mighty here!)

6. Sign a petition. Anyone who’s ever signed a petition has likely thought, “Is this actually going to do anything?” The answer: yes and no. A list of signatures without any additional political strategy likely won’t force any outcomes. However, experts say signing a petition can help educate people about the issue, raise awareness, and get the attention of media and lawmakers. Here are a few examples of petitions the chronic pain community has started:

CDC Guidelines Are Killing Chronic Pain Patients

Make Chronic Pain Patients Exempt From CDC Guidelines

Remove the Classification 1 From Cannabis/Marijuana

7. Shop for your cause. Wear a T-shirt, bracelet or pin that raises awareness of chronic pain and the condition you live with. Etsy features designers like Spoonspirations that make chronic illness-themed items. Many nonprofits also sell apparel, like the National Fibromyalgia Association, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association, Global Genes, and National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association. The profits from these items go back to the cause, so it’s a win-win.

8. Share the stories of other chronic pain warriors. In order to help people understand the chronic pain patient’s perspective, we need to amplify the voices of the warriors who speak up. Here are a few powerful Mighty stories that illuminate the issues at stake for people with chronic pain:

To the Person Who Thinks Chronic Pain ‘Can’t Be That Bad’

How the ‘War on Opioids’ Is Hurting Patients With Chronic Pain

The Side Effects of Chronic Pain No One Talks About

6 Challenges Healthy People May Not Realize Are Caused by Chronic Pain

And follow these bloggers who regularly cover the challenges of chronic pain:

Jessica Martin

Noelle Chelli Lopez

Essence Cheatom

Jason Bell

How do you plan to support chronic pain warriors this month? Let us know in the comments below.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by Rawpixel


The self-care I’m writing about today comes directly out of my perspective as a Christian with chronic illness. Many of the things I write are applicable to people of many diverse faiths and worldviews, and I so appreciate the many friends I have from so many different faiths. The posts I write about my own religious practices are not to alienate anyone who feels or worships differently, but to show how I, personally, integrate my Christian belief system into part of a holistic self-care method to be my best, wellest self with chronic illness.

As I’ve written about a lot, my resolution for 2017 — which was one word rather than a laundry list of goals — was wellness. Unlike physical health, which I often cannot control, I could make a commitment to be holistically well. I could make good choices in mind, body, and soul that would lead to overall wellness.

I knew to do this, I would need positive coping mechanisms, of which I did not have very many. I am not a huge hobby person, and I knew picking up a hobby would not be a good coping mechanism for me, as I would not have the mental or physical energy to devote to it. I already devoted nearly all the energy I have working as an educator and to my family, as the married mother of a 3-year-old girl. I also try writing wherever I can. My healthy coping mechanisms were taking long baths and drinking hot coffee and tea, and watching a couple TV shows, but I really needed something to occupy my mind during those pursuits: something that didn’t take a ton of brain power but was constructive, not destructive.

Usually, I turned to mindlessly scrolling social media, which tended to be pretty destructive and fuel my anxiety through its mindlessness and politics. So there I was, until I latched onto my most effective coping mechanism: scripture reading.

For someone who has identified as a Christian since she was 2 years old, reading scripture almost seems obvious. Why wasn’t I doing it all along?

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And I did, here and there. But I had never really made Bible reading a regular, daily part of my life. I would go to a camp or conference or retreat, or start a new year, and I would become inspired and energized to read the Bible every day, or read through the Bible in a year, but that momentum rarely lasted. I would get a new Bible, and I would love flipping through it and highlighting it at first, but after a month, I would fall back into the busyness of life, and there it would sit, its newness not fitting into my old patterns of meds and work and family and rest and catastrophe and pain and doctors appointments and diets and allergies and everything else I deal with as a chronically ill working mom.

Two things really changed my commitment to scripture for me. The first was my 2017 word of wellness — so, in a way, getting sick, because I never would have thrown myself into scripture if I wouldn’t have been so desperate for wellness after getting so much sicker after the birth of my daughter. However, it was really a delayed quest: my pregnancy, that brought out all my health issues, started back in mid-2013.

The second thing that helped jump-start my use of scripture as coping mechanism was my smartphone, of all things. Like I said earlier, one of the not-so-healthy coping mechanisms I often found myself resorting to was mindlessly scrolling through social media, often a lot longer than I intended. It’s a lot easier, with my often-sore joints, brain fog, neck pain, eye pain, and other symptoms due to my EDS and Chiari for me to hold and focus on a smartphone than a book. I started using the free YouVersion Bible App way back when a pastor at a previous church in a community I worked at while in grad school recommended it for a whole-church plan the church was doing — an overview of 100 important scriptures in 100 days or something like that. It was back when I didn’t finish what I started, scripture wise, so I didn’t finish it, and I think I even uninstalled it from my phone, but I had knowledge of it when I started my year of wellness.

I started slow, just reading Psalms and Proverbs. In February, I added the New Testament, too. In March, I hit a rough patch in my life when I was transitioning jobs and really, really needed a coping mechanism. I could have thrown myself into all matter of unhealthy things and briefly considered it. I was absolutely terrified I was going to have a crisis of faith and start losing my beliefs, especially since I wasn’t working in a church.

Because of that fear of losing my faith, I started reading more scripture than ever before. I threw myself into using scripture as a way to cope with my illness, which was a major factor in the transition; with my anxiety; with all my fears — and it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I couldn’t get enough of the scripture. I started reading all the themed devotional plans I could: plans on pain, plans on suffering and hope and anxiety and grief and transition. All things I could apply to my particular situation with my chronic illnesses.

I have now finished the New testament and am reading through the whole bible — the Psalms for a second time; and many more themed studies, all for the sake of wellness and coping with chronic illness and thriving through it. I share this not at all to brag but because it has seriously helped me in ways I could never ever imagine, and I hope it may be able to help others too. I do it all in small chunks from my smartphone, usually in bed or in the bath or wherever is most comfortable.

Now, quick moment of vulnerability here: I have had this post scheduled for today in my planner for weeks and have been drafting it for almost as long. But it isn’t done yet this evening, and I need to be real with you: today has been an absolutely terrible day, the kind of day where I was yelling at God at the way home from work, reminding God how much i have done for my call and how much I have given up for it and why does life have to continue to be so hard with all I’ve sacrificed? Who wants to write a blog post about how much they love reading scripture and how much God’s word helps them on a day they were literally yelling at God for life being so hard?

Well, I do, because I have to tell you: scripture is /full /of people yelling at God, and questioning God, and laughing at God, and wrestling with God. And yes, sometimes God rebukes them. But God is always big enough for our emotions. And that’s what I love about the scriptures.

That’s why I’ve found them such a haven in my chronic pain. Because they’re not all feel good little sound bites. They’re real emotion. They’re people, throughout time, on a journey struggling with pain and suffering — and a God who is always salvific, a savior who ultimately redeems the story. Something I can hold onto, not in this life but for the next.

This story was originally posted on my blog, Writer Kat.

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Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash


April 2011 was one of the most difficult times in my life. I was busy planning for my wedding while my now-husband was away at graduate school. I was transitioning into a new job role, which was challenging. I had my generalized anxiety disorder and chronic pain, both of which are exacerbated by stress. I genuinely didn’t know how I would deal with the worries weighing down on my shoulders…but unfortunately I would learn how to deal with even more.

 

On April 13, 2011 I received a phone call at work  informing me the fire alarm had gone off in my apartment. I assumed from this that it was a false alarm. As I rushed home my main concern was how untidy I’d left the place and how embarrassing it would be if firemen saw it. I didn’t think anything serious had occurred. That quickly changed as I arrived at my apartment building and saw the front door propped open. As I climbed the five flights of stairs up to my apartment, the smell of smoke got stronger and I realized there had been a major fire. I found my apartment destroyed and one of my pet rabbits deceased. Another rabbit was safely at my neighbor’s apartment. And my third rabbit, Layla, had by some twist of fate been brought to the vet that morning.

bunny rabbit
Layla shortly after adoption (pre-fire)
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Everything that ensued is its own long story, but this is the story of Layla. At the time of the fire she’d been with me for just four months, and was probably about 7 months old. Just prior to the fire she suddenly fell ill and developed what is known as head tilt. Due to a previously undetected inner ear problem, she had extreme vertigo and her head was seemingly permanently at a 70 degree angle. She was unable to move around without dropping and rolling, which was very sad to see. Prior to the illness she’d been like a kangaroo, jumping up on my bed and tearing around the apartment. Now she could barely move.

In the aftermath of the fire I obviously had many details to worry about, and while I was certainly traumatized I pushed through everything because I had to. Layla needed my care, but she also cared for me. Despite the amount of pain and discomfort she was likely in she was always so sweet to me when I picked her up and held her. I could see in her eyes that she wanted to keep on going, and so I continued to pay vet bills and give her many necessary treatments for her recovery. The vet cautioned there was a very strong chance that the best prognosis Layla could have would be a permanent head tilt without vertigo symptoms. I had seen pictures of rabbits with head tilt before, and it was hard to see the sweet creatures with a neck that looked very twisted and uncomfortable. But if Layla was going to make it I would love her no matter how she ended up looking.

rabbit with head tilt
Layla struggling with head tilt

For some time her response to the medication was minimal. Then I started seeing slight improvement. I was staying at a friend’s home while looking for a new apartment, and had started doing physical therapy exercises for Layla. Much like exercises I’ve done myself for neck pain and migraines, it involves holding her head in the “correct” position and doing gentle stretching. I was told the chances of this working were low, but that it was worth trying. If successful, her degree of head tilt could at least be reduced.

As I spent time with her I began to rethink just what it meant to live with a disability. It’s hard to know what kinds of emotions rabbits may have in comparison to humans, but I was amazed by Layla’s spirit. She accepted treatments, she kept getting up when she fell, she kept trying to walk, she kept crawling across the small towel I would put on the floor and then a bigger towel as she incrementally improved. Finally one day I was sitting near the kitchen table in my temporary home. Layla was on her towel. She tentatively started walking towards me – successfully! It was only a few feet but my heart swelled with pride that has not been matched since. She turned slightly and looked at me as she hopped over to my lap. It was as if to say, “Look Mom, I can keep going and so can you!”

As you can imagine, this time was very difficult. I hadn’t been physically harmed by the fire, but I had post-traumatic stress disorder: feelings of being transported back to the moment of the crisis, serious grief and survivor’s guilt because of my other rabbit, Olivia. But dealing with Layla’s illness gave me a focus that kept my mind away from depressed thoughts and flashbacks to the disaster. Yes, at first it was very discouraging to see my rabbit drop and roll and not be able to do what she used to. But as I observed her and saw her spirit I came to see I was going to love her so much regardless of however her head ended up being tilted. Disabled just meant different. Layla had always been a special girl, and this was just a different facet of her specialness.

Remarkably, our physical therapy work together improved Layla’s health a great deal. She ended up with only a very minor (10 percent) head tilt and her remaining issues with balance only affect her when she’s in unfamiliar surroundings. She is now 7 years old and an incredibly happy bunny. Layla proves every day that you can have a disability and yet still be so able, so full of spirit and capable of giving the world something very important.

rabbit
Layla now – 7 years old and doing well!

As I have continued to live with my own chronic illnesses, it is a struggle to keep the positive attitude Layla seems to have. But seeing her every day and remembering her story gives me continued hope in this world, along with a better understanding of how to live my life despite adversity and disability. I’m glad to have her by my side as I continue my journey through life.

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If you live with a chronic pain condition, it can affect many parts of your life others may not think twice about – such as taking a shower, preparing a meal or picking out clothes and shoes. While most people tend to decide on a pair of shoes based on what matches with the rest of their outfit, for those with chronic pain, it’s not that simple.

On some days, you may be in too much pain to wear shoes at all. But if you have to venture out to go to work or run errands, choosing a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and supportive is a necessity.

To help you find a pair of shoes that help rather than exacerbate your symptoms, we asked our Mighty community to share their favorite brands of shoes to wear with chronic pain. Here are their recommendations. (Note: Some types of shoes may not be suitable for those with certain conditions. Consult your doctor with any questions about what types of shoes are best for you.)

Just so you know, we’ve selected these links to make shopping easier for you. We do not receive any funds from purchases you make.

1. Skechers

skechers bobs shoes with memory foam soles

Rebekka Johnston recommended, “Skechers, like the ones with the memory foam soles. They give good support for ankles and are comfortable.” 

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Bethan Bea Winsborrow said the ones with memory foam feel like wearing slippers, and Georgii Llouise wrote, “They are so, so comfortable and feel like walking on air. Helps with the vibrations through ankles, knees, hips and back.”

“Skechers – the only shoes in my closet. Been wearing for years, cute styles and colors. From flip-flops to athletic shoes,” added Tifney Schoenfeld.

Buy the shoes above for $50 from Skechers.

2. Brooks

brooks shoes

Megan Efthimiadis said, “My podiatrist recommended Brooks with Superfeet insoles. The difference I feel in ankle and knee pain is amazing.”

Karen Leiva added, “Brooks are the best for me, and even though I’m a girl, I wear their men’s sizes due to width.”

Buy the shoes above for $74.99 from Brooks.

3. Nike

blue nike air max shoe

“Nike Air Max,” recommended Kiona Ejsing. “They are firm but bouncy in the right places.” Jessica Smith added that Nike shoes with memory foam are amazing.

Buy the shoes above for $95 from Nike.

4. Dr. Scholl’s

dr scholl's sneakers

Laura Ann Mericle said, “I have a pair of Dr. Scholl’s sneakers and I love them.”

“Dr. Scholls running shoes,” recommended Tiffany Louise Marentette. “They have extra padding and gel insoles.”

“Dr. Scholl’s. I currently live in Texas and I wear their sandals all year. The ones with the inserts in the heel help alleviate my knee and back pain,” added Kathy Adams Smith.

Buy the shoes above for $39.95 from Dr. Scholl’s.

5. Birkenstock

red birkenstock sandals

Allison Michelle recommended, “Birkenstocks for summer. My physiotherapist and chiropractor both warned me against wearing flip-flops but said Birkenstocks are great.”

Jessica Mj da Silva wrote, “Birkenstocks and any other easy-to-slip-on [shoes] without much bending or tying laces when you are stiff or joints [hurt].”

Delaney Hartmann added she wears them every day, and Denise Peacock Young said they’re the only shoes she’s worn for over 15 years.

Buy the shoes above for $99.95 from Birkenstock.

6. FitFlop

coral slip on ballet flat fitflops

Lisa Hain wrote, “These are a thick-soled shoe. They have all styles. It’s all I can wear with my back.”

Buy the shoes above for $55 from FitFlop.

7. Vionics

vionics

Meg Burczynski told us, “They are cushiony and have awesome arch support.”

Leslie P. McMillan added, “Vionics, hands down. Decreased my pain by 50 percent, once I got used to them.”

Buy the shoes above for $64.99 from Vionics.

8. Merrell

merrell shoes

Inez Conway wrote, “Merrell are the best by far! They last forever and stay comfortable… definitely worth the price to get a good pair of Merrell shoes.”

“I have diabetic neuropathy and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) in my left foot due to a break and two surgeries. I have hardware in my foot still. I absolutely love my Merrell shoes. I’ve had several styles and all are extremely comfortable, durable and supporting,” added Cindy Karshneski-Farrell.

Buy the shoes above for $79.99 from Merrell.

9. K-Swiss

k-swiss tubes shoes

Angela Marie Rodriguez said, “If you are on your feet a bit and walk… I had good luck with K-Swiss Tubes.”

Buy the shoes above for $70 from K-Swiss.

10. Air Jordan

air jordans

Sam Bosworth said, “I have super messed up feet (from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) and have been buying Air Jordan Hi Tops for the last four years. I did have boots specially made for me but they were so extreme I couldn’t walk at all. I buy one pair of Jordans a year/year and a half and they last great. When I walk, I walk on the sides of my feet, and most shoes wear down straight away, but Jordans last great. They are a little pricey, but £100ish over a year is still better value than having to buy multiple pairs of cheap shoes. They’re also super comfortable and give a lot of room for my personal [difference] (assuming I buy shoes a few sizes too big). They may not be great for everyone but I’ve found them really helpful and probably couldn’t even walk without them.”

Buy the shoes above for $190 from Nike.

11. OluKai

olukai sandals

“I bought OluKai sandals and the relief I felt from switching from my regular flip flops was instantaneous and so worth it. It took the pressure off my knees and back. Ahhhh,” wrote Stephanie Chambers.

Buy the shoes above for $85 from OluKai.

12. UGG

ugg boots

“For winter, UGGs!” Cassidy Schod told us. “My feet are always freezing and they’re so comfortable. Or Ugg knockoffs! Anything that’s a fuzzy boot and easy to slip on and off.”

Buy the shoes above for $160 from UGG.

13. Crocs

crocs

Melissa Duncan wrote, “Don’t laugh… Crocs! Original. Never rubs or chafes. Light on my feet. Easy to slide on/off. Comes in 100 colors. Walk all day and nothing hurts. Clean easy.”

Jeni Freidenker added, “I have half a dozen different pairs! I wear them all the time, for work, as slippers, in the garden, out and about in town. I’ve even worn them on a night out! I couldn’t survive without them!”

Buy the shoes above for $34.99 from Crocs.

14. Spenco

spenco shoes

“The footbed has an arch and metatarsal support. Helps leg and hip pain,” said Joan Wzontek Alba.

Buy the shoes above for $39.99 from Spenco.

15. Asics

asics running shoes

Julie Craft told us, “Not only do I have chronic pain but it extends to my feet. [I have] flat feet, bunions. These are my go-to shoes.”

Buy the shoes above for $160 from Asics.

16. Converse

white converse

“I actually find Converse to be comfortable for walking, once you’ve broken them in a bit. I like the ankle support. Oh, I also use Hickies instead of laces, so they turn into slip-ons. Best thing I ever bought!” said Vikki Patis.

Buy the shoes above for $50 from Converse.

17. Danskin Now

danskin now shoe

Sabrina Hayes told us, “They give you coverage like a tennis shoe but are easy to slip in and out of [and] have a memory foam insert sole. They are comfy and supportive.”

Buy the shoes above for $12.88 from Walmart.

18. TOMS

denim-washed toms shoe

Sophie D’Urso said Toms are one of her staples. “Ridiculously comfortable, and not too hot in the summer!”

Buy the shoes above for $55 from TOMS. (With every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS donates a new pair of shoes to a child in need.)

19. Doc Martens

purple doc martens boots

“I’ve worn my Doc Martens boots in throughly over about eight years. I find they are amazing for ankle support and comfortable [for] walking,” said Sophie D’Urso.

Buy the shoes above for $135 from Doc Martens.

20. Clarks

clarks shoes

Kate Dankosky told us she likes to wear Clarks when she has to dress more professionally, but never wears the same pair two days in a row.

Buy the shoes above for $85 from Clarks.

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