- How Carrying Around Extra Weight Affects Your Feet and Ankles
- Even a few extra pounds can be very hard on your feet
- Many common foot problems are made much worse by being overweight
- How does numbness affect cancer patients?
- How likely are cancer patients to experience numbness?
- How may integrative care help?
- Losing Weight Can Also Help Your Feet
- Exercise for Weight Loss
- Don’t Delay Seeking Treatment for Your Foot Pain if You’re Carrying Extra Weight
- References: Obesity and Foot Pain
- No One Tells You That When You Lose 40 Pounds, Your Shoes No Longer Fit
- Did you know that changing your walking form can help you lose weight more easily? Here’s how.
How Carrying Around Extra Weight Affects Your Feet and Ankles
As that old song goes… “the toe bone’s connected to the foot bone… the foot bone’s connected to the heel bone” and so on. Eventually it makes its way up to the head bone, and then back down to the feet and ankles. The anatomical accuracy of that song may be dubious, but the basic theme is dead-on; in the human body, everything’s connected. And everything begins and ends with the feet.
For overweight people, the feet and ankles end up bearing the brunt of the load. So it’s not surprising that overweight and obese people are at higher risk for conditions that cause foot and ankle problems. That extra weight can make standing and walking uncomfortable and even painful. It even stretches out and wears down the connective tissue and fat pads in the feet. Being overweight changes your gait and that can screw up your arches and the tendons in your feet.
In other words, the more weight you carry, the more your feet and ankles are going to hurt. It’s not pretty.
Even a few extra pounds can be very hard on your feet
There’s no doubt that many of us carry extra weight on our frames, so the number of people who are dealing with this is pretty huge. So we asked UFAI’s Dr. Bob Baravarian about this issue and he told us something that was downright sobering. “Many people don’t realize how being overweight can impact their feet. It only takes only one pound of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure on your feet and ankles. So if you could stand to lose 10 pounds off your waistline, can you imagine how much better your feet would feel!”
Many common foot problems are made much worse by being overweight
Surplus weight exerts extra pressure on your feet, and especially on the weight-bearing joints in your feet and ankles. This pressure leads to a variety of painful foot and ankle conditions such as:
Your foot is meant to be arched at its inner midpoint. This arching provides reflexive spring and balance. Carrying extra weight weakens the tendons and ligaments that make up the architecture of your feet and ankles. Over time, the arches will collapse, causing flat feet and often significant pain when standing and walking. Wearing orthotics can help a lot, but losing weight is the best way to see considerable improvement in the arches of your feet.
Plantar fasciitis and heel pain in the morning
This condition involves inflammation of the ligaments that run forward from the heel bone to the metatarsal bones in the arch of the foot that are connected to our toes. When these ligaments are inflamed it causes heel pain and stiffness. If you are feeling sharp heel pain in the morning, or when you rise from a seated position or climb stairs, you probably have plantar fasciitis. In studying overweight patients with plantar fasciitis, researchers found obesity was the only factor that predicted whether heel pain led to disability. It’s critical that patients carrying extra weight have their heel pain treated right away.
Tendinitis is a similar condition to plantar fasciitis. Extra pressure caused by carrying too much weight commonly leads to inflammation and pain in the tendons of the feet and ankles. This is particularly true of the Achilles tendon which connects the heel bone to the calf muscle. In overweight people, the flattening of the feet puts extra strain on the tendon and causes Achilles tendonitis.
Bone spurs in the feet
A bone spur is an outgrowth from a bone, created by the body to lessen the friction of two bones grinding against each other. Bone spurs are more likely to occur in someone who is overweight because of this extra stress on their joints. Obesity can make bone spurs in the feet worse adding to the symptoms, which include localized pain, stiffness, numbness, and tingling.
Overweight ankle pain and ankle arthritis
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) one in five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis (including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis). However, those numbers increase to one in three among obese people. Ankle arthritis, a form of osteoarthritis, results from breakdown of cartilage, the flexible but tough connective tissue that covers the ends of bones where they meet at joints. Simply put, the cartilage wears out. Obesity is a common contributing factor in ankle arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own joint tissue. According to the Arthritis Foundation, chemicals found in fat play a role in developing rheumatoid arthritis.
This condition has been called the “the king of diseases and the disease of kings”, because it was traditionally associated with a rich diet, including a lot of red meat and shellfish. Gout is caused by accumulations of uric acid crystals in joints of the feet, particularly the big toe. The pain can be so excruciating as to be disabling. If you are suffering with bouts of gout, your diet may well be the culprit.
Being overweight is a primary cause of diabetes, which in turn can damage and compress the nerves in your legs and feet along with reducing the flow of blood to your feet. Sores on the feet can easily become ulcerated and difficult to heal on their own. If you are feeling numbness in your feet be certain to see your physician. Obesity problems such as diabetic neuropathy affects millions of Americans. And every year, diabetic foot problems cause over 70,000 surgical amputations of a foot or lower leg.
Peripheral artery disease
Obesity problems can lead to widespread accumulations of fatty deposits in the arteries. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) may reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, as well as dramatically reduce the flow of blood to the legs and feet. As a result, it can make walking extremely difficult. Symptoms of PAD in the feet include coldness, sores that won’t heal and feet and toes that feel numb. This is a serious complication of being overweight and suffering with obesity.
Here at UFAI we provide curative answers to each of the podiatric problems caused by obesity, starting with basic conservative remedies and including, when necessary, surgical relief. We are here to aid the obese patient in recovering as quickly as possible to decrease their morbidity and improve their quality of life.
If you’re suffering from foot pain and complications, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment with UFAI. Our nationally recognized podiatrists offer the most advanced foot and ankle care together with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the field of research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.
- Latest Posts
Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM
Dr. Avanti Redkar is board certified in podiatric medicine and joined University Foot and Ankle Institute under a fellowship in sports medicine and ankle reconstruction. She attended podiatry school at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine and went on to complete her surgical residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, New York, where she was trained in foot and rearfoot surgery, wound care, and hyperbaric medicine.
Dr. Redkar specializes in foot and ankle pathology and is available for consult at our Mid-Wilshire Los Angeles and Beverly Hills locations.
Latest posts by Dr. Avanti Redkar, DPM
- How to Avoid Winter Foot Woes, Tips From our Doctors – December 5, 2019
- Little Toe Hurts? Four Things to Know About Pinky Toe Pain – October 28, 2019
- Worried About Your Wide Feet? Don’t Be! – September 24, 2019
How does numbness affect cancer patients?
Numbness is often accompanied by tingling or a pins-and-needles feeling. It may affect patients across cancer types. This partial or complete lack of sensation may develop in one or more body parts, especially the hands, feet, arms or legs.
Cancers that may lead to numbness include:
- A tumor of the cerebrum, which controls sensation and movement
- A spinal cord tumor which may cause numbness on both sides of the body and cause coordination impairments in the arms and/or legs
- Myeloma, which may produce abnormal proteins that damage nerves and bring about numbness in the legs
- Prostate cancer, which may cause numbness in the feet and legs from tumors pressing on the spinal cord
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia, which may cause facial numbness, a possible sign that the cancer has spread to the brain and spinal cord
- Advanced-stage lung cancer, which may cause limb numbness if it spreads to the brain
Peripheral neuropathy is a common neurological side effect of cancer and its treatment, especially chemotherapy and other anti-cancer drugs. The condition often causes numbness, particularly in the extremities.
How likely are cancer patients to experience numbness?
Peripheral neuropathy affects around 10 percent to 20 percent of people with cancer, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
How may integrative care help?
Several supportive care therapies target extremity numbness and related complications to improve quality of life and help patients avoid treatment delays or interruptions.
The supportive care services that may be recommended include:
Licensed chiropractic physicians may be able to reduce musculoskeletal sources of pressure on nerves, which may cause numbness. Those suffering from pain caused by peripheral neuropathy, typically concentrated in the hands and feet, may also find relief through hands-on adjustment, massage, stretching, electrical muscle stimulation, heat, ice or traction techniques. Our chiropractors at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) work closely with the patient’s oncologist to determine if and what chiropractic treatments may be appropriate and beneficial.
Learn more about chiropractic care
Oncology rehabilitation therapists use physical and occupational therapies in an effort to sensitize nerve endings by retraining them to respond normally to stimulation. These clinicians also educate patients about safety and awareness of numb body parts to help them avoid injuries while completing everyday tasks. Recommendations for adaptive equipment, such as a walker, cane or shower chair, may also help reduce patients’ fall risk if their feet are numb.
Learn more about oncology rehabilitation
Pain management physicians may recommend over-the-counter medications for mild pain-related numbness, while more severe neuropathic pain may require prescribed painkillers and/or topical treatments. Nerve blocks or implanted pain pumps may also help address the underlying issues that cause numbness. The trained doctors who staff the pain management team at CTCA® work with other supportive care clinicians to develop a detailed treatment plan personalized for each patient.
Learn more about pain management
Losing Weight Can Also Help Your Feet
Given that your feet bear the weight of your entire body as they carry you through your daily routine, it’s not surprising that being overweight can lead to foot problems.
Your Weight and Feet: Understanding the Relationship
Research has found that having too much body weight may increase your chances of a variety of painful conditions in the feet, including:
- Tendon inflammation
- Inflammation in the plantar fascia, the tough band of tissue in the sole of your foot
You don’t have to be extremely obese to run into problems. “Even 25 extra pounds can tip the scales to more problems in the foot and ankle,” says James Mahoney, DPM, an associate professor of podiatric surgery at Des Moines University in Iowa.
And for people who are obese, the problems can multiply. Foot problems often develop from the changes in posture caused by carrying too much weight, says Dr. Mahoney. In these cases, the knees tend to come closer together while walking, which shifts the body weight to the insides of the feet. This can be bad for the arches and tendons in the feet and ankle, and lead to hip and back problems.
Your Weight and Feet: Specific Problems
Being overweight makes you more likely to develop several conditions that can lead to foot pain and other problems, such as:
Gout. This condition is known for causing sharp, severe pain, typically in the big toe. It can also affect other joints in your feet and ankles. Gout develops when crystals of a substance called uric acid accumulate in your joints. Being overweight makes you more likely to develop gout by increasing the production of uric acid in your body, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Diabetes. Being overweight is one of the main factors that raise your risk of diabetes. Diabetes can cause numbness in your feet and can reduce the amount of blood flow that reaches your feet. As a result, you may develop small injuries without noticing them, and these injuries may heal very slowly and develop infections. These can grow into serious problems that can even lead to the loss of your feet. In one year, more than 70,000 people with diabetes had to have a foot or lower leg surgically removed.
Peripheral arterial disease. This condition is marked by an accumulation of plaque in the walls of arteries in the legs. As a result, the flow of blood to the feet is reduced. Being overweight is a preventable risk factor for peripheral arterial disease, according to the American Heart Association.
Your Weight and Feet: How to Get Moving
One problem that arises for people who have weight-related foot conditions is how to get the physical activity that helps in weight loss without causing foot injuries, Mahoney says. If you’re overweight and have concerns about hurting your feet, he recommends starting with low-impact aerobic activities, such as water aerobics.
In addition to working with your doctor to make sure your heart and lungs can handle the challenge from a new exercise program, talk to a podiatrist to make sure your shoes are the right size and offer the proper support. Be sure to start exercising gradually, and avoid activities that cause pain.
Obesity is an issue that is becoming increasingly prominent in almost every developed nation, and Ireland is no exception. In 2015, 23% of people in Ireland were classified as obese, with a further 37% being classified as overweight. In fact, Ireland is estimated to become the most obese country in Europe by 2030, with 89% of men and 85% of women expected to be either obese or overweight according to a recent study by the World Health Organisation. We are all aware that obesity has negative effects on our bodies, but most of this focus is directed at issues such as heart disease and diabetes. The reality is that obesity affects the entire body, and its effects on our feet are largely overlooked. Here are some of the biggest consequences of obesity on our feet.
The first and perhaps most obvious effect that obesity will have on our feet is that it places a far greater amount of weight on them when we stand or move about. This results not only in placing immediate physical stress on the skin and bones in our feet, but also physically alters them over time. Fallen arches are a common side-effect of obesity, and can lead to long term pain, as well as a number of other problems. This is a result of both the extra weight that is being placed on the feet, as well as the fact that obesity wears down shoes at a much faster rate than usual.
Similarly, obesity will often result in pronation, which is itself often a result of fallen arches. Pronation is a condition where people stand or walk not with their feet flat on the ground, but slightly on the side. This pushes the heels outwards and our ankles closer together. This is enormously common with very loose shoes such as Ugg boots.
If untreated, fallen arches and pronation will lead to a wide number of other problems very quickly. Swelling of the ligament that connects the heel to the toes is the most common side effect of obesity on feet, resulting in sharp pain throughout the foot. This, as well as the extra weight associated with obesity, soon results in pain extending up the leg, particularly in the shin. Ultimately, the knees, hips, and back are all affected, which results in severe and chronic pain throughout most of the body. All of these factors combined then affect how we walk, sit, sleep, and generally hold ourselves, which will usually result in further pain and complications.
The combination of the extra weight, pain, and exhaustion makes it far less likely that people will exercise, which then exacerbates all of the aforementioned issues. Obese people are also more susceptible to ankle sprains, which will further decrease the amount of exercise a person does.
It is common knowledge that obesity affects our heart and blood in a number of different ways, such as diabetes and increased heart rate. These are of course issues that affect the entire body, but the feet are also some of the most adversely affected parts. This is because they are the part of our bodies that are farthest away from our heart, and are the worst affected by circulation problems. The effects of this can range from numbness to amputation of the feet.
Obesity is a problem that affects essentially the entire body, but its effects on the feet are often ignored, despite them being so painful and potentially life-altering. Obesity is not an issue that can be dealt with using a single-pronged approach, but if a person is serious about tackling their weight issues and looking after their body, taking care of the feet is an absolute necessity. Wearing comfortable shoes that provide arch support and prevent pronation is the most effective way to begin, but ultimately, weight loss is the only real solution.
SEATTLE AND NORTH
Our recommendation in the Seattle and North Sound regions for weight loss are the Swedish Non-Surgical Weight Loss Clinics. This is the only comprehensive program in the area that we have found with a focus on non-surgical weight loss.
The Non Surgical Weight Loss program is offered at Swedish on First Hill in Seattle and in Edmonds.
SOUTH OF SEATTLE
Multicare Center for Weight Loss and Wellness offers a medical weight loss program in Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Olympia and Puyallup.
Even if you are considering bariatric surgery in the future, participating in a medically supervised weight loss program prior to weight-loss surgery can make the surgery easier and more effective.
If you will joining a weight loss program, make an appointment to see us as soon as possible so that we can help prevent foot pain that often occurs during weight loss exercise.
We are looking for other evidence-based and medically supervised weight loss programs to add to our referral list. If you are involved in such a program, please contact us.
Exercise for Weight Loss
Exercise is critical for both weight loss and your overall health. If you are overweight be sure to discuss exercise plans with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Then contact us for an appointment so we can help you protect your feet when you workout.
Best Weight Loss Exercise Video Programs
Jillian Michaels Body Revolution is a 90 day weight loss exercise program focused on helping people lose weight. Designed by Jillian Michaels of NBCs Biggest Loser program, it is a series of 30 minute workouts on 15 DVDs. The workouts start out very low impact and increase in intensity as you lose weight. Be sure to get your doctor’s ok to start an exercise program first.
And, if you have your doctor’s ok, here is a completely free and very well done beginning workout for those who have a lot of weight to lose. This one is by Tony Horton of P90X fame:
Video: Tony Horton Weight Loss Workout
Carrying extra weight can cause foot pain which can make it difficult to exercise. We can help resolve your foot pain, but if you can’t see us right away, we have developed a guide to how to exercise when your feet hurt. Just use the link to find many exercises that you can do even when your feet hurt.
Don’t Delay Seeking Treatment for Your Foot Pain if You’re Carrying Extra Weight
Call today for an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Center of Washington.
References: Obesity and Foot Pain
- Plantar pressure differences between obese and non-obese adults: a biomechanical analysis. Hills AP, Hennig EM, McDonald M, Bar-Or O.Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Nov;25(11):1674-9.
- Comparison of static footprints and pedobarography in obese and non-obese children. Taisa Filippin N, de Almeida Bacarin T, Lobo da Costa PH. Foot Ankle Int. 2008 Nov;29(11):1141-4.
- Why is obesity associated with osteoarthritis? Insights from mouse models of obesity. Griffin TM, Guilak F. Biorheology. 2008;45(3-4):387-98.
- Assessment of the medial longitudinal arch in children and adolescents with obesity: footprints and radiographic study. Villarroya MA, Esquivel JM, Tomás C, Moreno LA, Buenafé A, Bueno G Eur J Pediatr. 2008 Aug 27.
- Does obesity influence foot structure and plantar pressure patterns in prepubescent children?; Dowling,et. al; 2001; Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord
- Computerized baropodometry in obese patients; Fabris, et. al. Obes Surg. 2006
Getting the Right Shoe Size
There are many people that wear shoes that are ill-fitting, which affects their feet and posture. Selecting the right shoes is not a difficult process so long as you keep several things in mind when it comes to selecting the right pair.
- When visiting the shoe store, use the tools available to measure your foot
- When measuring your foot with your shoe on, add 1-2 inches to the size
- Be sure there is ‘wiggle room’. There should be about an inch between your toes and the tip of your shoes
- Do not always assume you are the same size, as manufacturers run differently
- Purchase shoes later in the day as your feet swell as the day progresses
- If a shoe is not comfortable, it is not suitable. Most shoes can’t be ‘broken in’, and comfort should be the ultimate goal when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes
As our feet hold our body weight and keep us moving, it is important to treat your feet right by choosing the right pair of shoes that can provide them comfort and mobility with minimal pain.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Read More about getting the right shoe size.
No One Tells You That When You Lose 40 Pounds, Your Shoes No Longer Fit
My clothes don’t fit.
When I tell people this, they say it’s a good problem to have. You see, like our lovely Deputy Editor Brande Victorian, I’ve also lost a lot of weight recently (we keep each other motivated) by choosing to try and eat better and working out at least four times a week. After losing almost 45 pounds, I watched my jeans get looser, anything with an elastic waistband started to hang off my waist, and my dresses fit baggier than ever.
After a while, I got used to having to buy new pants every few months and realized that as I slim and tone, things just won’t fit the same. But what I didn’t expect or see coming, was that I would lose weight in my feet. I guess when your body is looking to rid itself of a lot of fat, it comes off all over the place.
As I was digging through a bin of shoes last night as I prepared to swap out the summer shoes at my front door for my boots and loafers, I came across a pair of low camel-colored boots I bought from ASOS last year that were sent in a size my toes didn’t agree with. I’m a very impatient person, and didn’t feel like waiting to ship things back and forth, so I tried to make it work. I attempted to stretch the shoes out the best I could, and each of the three times I tried to wear them, I fought ’til my thumbs burned, trying to force my feet into them.
Well, last night, they fit. I didn’t fight. I didn’t fuss. I just said, “Let me try these on again,” and they slipped on like nothing. They’re still a little snug because they’re narrow, but as I walked around the house in my T-shirt, post-workout granny panties, and boots like I was styling on folks, they no longer hurt. And they looked cute!
And then there are the penny loafers I recently bought from DSW. I’ve worn a 10 for some time now, and yet, when I went home, put on my shoes and walked to work the next day feeling like the freshest sista in Brooklyn with my camel coat, camel-colored corduroys, and camel loafers, I realized that my heels were coming out of my shoes. I was no longer fresh or fly. I literally looked like a little girl wearing her mother’s shoes in public–and I was embarrassed.
I didn’t understand it then, as I stuffed tissue and anything I could into the front of my shoes to get them to fit, and I didn’t understand it yesterday when my tight shoes didn’t feel so bad after all. It wasn’t until my friend told me, “Maybe you lost weight in your feet?” that it clicked.
Every single inch of you shrinks when you lose weight. Your fingers slim to the point that rings fall off. Your face looks and feels less round. And, woman or man, your breast decrease drastically. That last part I’m not too excited about…
But I was genuinely shocked about my feet. I had always felt that my hands and feet were pretty boney, and that weight was focused in my thighs, stomach, and chest. However, when you’re overweight, everything about you is overweight. We like to think our extra weight is concentrated, but it is spread out everywhere–even in your feet.
I can’t say whether or not this is one of those fun changes. Like when tights that used to hug your legs for dear life now fit comfortably, or when a dress you were about to throw in a Goodwill bag after only being able to fit in it once finally frames your curves instead of suffocating them. Shoes are expensive, and I don’t have the time, nor the money to be out here buying new ones to make up for all the space in my old ones.
But it is a good change. And any change that involves taking off the pounds that were holding me back, even if it’s in my toes, is something to celebrate. And I’ll be celebrating in my floppy a– shoes.
Our staff has picked their favorite stations, take a listen…
Did you know that changing your walking form can help you lose weight more easily? Here’s how.
When walking up an incline or on an unstable surface, you’re always told to walk lightly, anchoring your heel down and bouncing off to your toes. What if we told you that doing the opposite results in more weight loss?
Alexis Craig, a personal trainer and coach on the exercise app Gixo, told Popsugar that walking with a strong heel strike can actually cause hyperextension that leads to other injuries.
(Also read: 8 Ways to Burn More Calories By Walking)
How to walk
She recommends landing on the balls of your feet and propelling yourself forward using your back foot. This might sound complicated, but basically, it means that you should send more weight to the front of your feet. It might feel unfamiliar when you first try to walk this way.
(Also read: How to Prevent Foot-Related Injuries From Long Hours of Walking)
More muscle engagement
By keeping your heels lifted, your calf engagement increases, helping you to use more muscle and burn more fat. It might seem like a minor change, but walking for extended periods of time in this walking form will get your calves burning.
Increasing the muscle density in your legs will help you to burn more calories even when you are resting, resulting in a leaner body.
(Also read: Why Walking Is Your Best Bet To Get Into Shape)
Other ways to increase weight loss by walking
Besides stepping with a different stride, there are simple adjustments that can give you a tougher walking workout. Firstly, try walking slightly faster than normal. By doing so, you can speed up your heart rate and break a sweat.
Toughen up your workout further by doing walking intervals. They’re done like sprint intervals, where you go fast for a certain time or distance, and then slow back down. This helps to increase your muscle explosiveness.
Walking outdoors can boost your fitness levels too because the uneven terrain challenges your balance, while the inclines or declines help engage different areas of your muscles.
(Also read: Walking Just 18 Minutes Every Day Lowers Your Risk Of Dying By 20%)
Extra pounds don’t just affect your waistline. Believe it or not, it can have serious effects on your feet as well.
Your feet are the foundation for your body, which bears your entire body weight day in and day out. Over time, added weight can lead to various painful foot conditions, such as the following:
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is considered a “wear and tear” condition that occurs when the cartilage begins breaking down in one or more joint, which often leads to a total loss of cartilage. The cartilage breakdown is a result of repeated stress and overuse, which can be exasperated from carrying around extra pounds. In the foot and ankle joints, this can become quite painful and debilitating.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is when the plantar fascia, the band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot, becomes inflamed. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it can lead to sharp pain in the heel and arch of the foot. This condition may be particularly painful upon standing in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time and then walking.
- Arch problems: Due to extra weight bearing down on your feet, arch problems can occur. As a result, many people can suffer from arch collapse, causing flat feet. Flat feet can cause the ankle to roll inward to compensate for the collapsed arch, leading to alignment problems and accompanied ankle, knee, and back pain.
- Heel Spurs: This is common problem seen in overweight people because the longitudinal arch is under significant undue pressure, which causes it to pull on the plantar fascia that connects to the heel. The stress can result in the formation of a heel spur.
You don’t have to be obese to experience foot pain, although being overweight also can lead to other health conditions that can result in foot pain, such as:
- Gout: Gout is a form of arthritis, which is characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain, redness and tenderness, often in the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is caused when your body deposits an excess of urate crystals near a joint, most commonly the big toe. Urate crystals can form when you have high levels of uric acid in your blood, which build up, creating sharp, needle-like deposits in the joint or in surrounding tissue and cause pain, inflammation, and swelling. The likelihood of developing gout increases if you are overweight because your body is more likely to increase uric acid production.
- Diabetes: The risk of diabetes increases with weight gain. If you have diabetes, it can cause numbness and tingling in your feet, which is due to nerve damage from a lack of blood flow to your feet, called peripheral neuropathy. Because you lose feeling in your feet, small cuts can go unnoticed and develop into a serious infection. These infections can cause diabetic ulcers, which left untreated, can result in a serious problem that may require amputation of the foot.
- Peripheral arterial disease: When plaque accumulates in the walls of the arteries in the legs, it causes blood flow to the feet to be reduced. Being overweight is one of the main risk factors for developing peripheral arterial disease.
Foot pain and being overweight is a vicious cycle, because if your feet hurt, exercising can be extremely difficult. If you can’t exercise, then losing weight becomes a much tougher battle.
The first step in reclaiming your pain-free life and working towards a healthy weight is speaking to a podiatrist, who can help treat your foot pain so you can get back on your feet.
For more information about foot health or to make an appointment with one of our highly skilled podiatrists, please visit www.triadfoot.com to request an appointment, or call one of our three offices located throughout the Triad.
Disclaimer: The information and other content provided in our blogs, videos, or in any other content or linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For a full disclaimer, please ?.