Does my weight have anything to do with my foot problem?

A lot of patients ask us everyday if their foot issue/pain is related to their weight.  Usually the answer is that it’s not helping.  Obviously, our feet take on the weight of our body with every step we take.  After thousands and thousands of steps this really adds up.  Some common foot/ankle ailments that can be made worse by being overweight include tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, ball of the foot pain, heel spurs and swelling.

One study evaluated children and showed that their feet took on 3.5 times more force during ambulation when comparing children who are obese vs normal weight as defined by their BMI.  According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees”.  That weight overtime can prematurely wear out the joint and cause degenerative arthritis. 

Being obese can also increase your chance of having Diabetes.  Having uncontrolled diabetes can be detrimental to the foot by causing lack of sensation and diminished healing.  This can allow wounds to worsen and become infected.  

Obesity also plays a role by increasing your chances of rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriatic arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia.  All of these disorders can affect your feet and ankles in addition to the damage they can cause the rest of your body.   

So all this means it’s time to exercise and start working out right?  Not so fast.  If you have haven't exercised in a while then you need to slowly increase your workouts over time.  Pushing yourself too hard and too fast can cause stress fractures, tendinitis, etc.  

If you have questions about this or any other foot/ankle condition.  Please call us at 972-542-2155.

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