The Connection between Obesity and Heel Pain

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Heel pain and obesitySome things in life go together. Peanut butter and jelly. Han Solo and Chewbacca. Unfortunately, not all combinations are this pleasant or entertaining. Take obesity and heel pain. Developing foot pain from being overweight is very common. That’s because excess bodyweight can contribute to strain on your lower limbs that causes overuse injuries and other painful conditions.

Your feet have to carry the weight of your whole body striking the ground. For anyone at any weight, that can cause serious wear-and-tear issues over time. When you struggle with being overweight, the wearing and foot stress only gets worse.

The excess pressure from your bodyweight both flattens out your foot more and causes you to strike the ground harder than normal. This can overstretch and strain the plantar fascia band connected to your heel. Just as concerning, obesity compresses the fatty padding in your feet that is designed to act like protective cushions, thinning it out so it isn’t as effective.

The excess strain on your plantar fascia and the thinned out cushioning in your feet mean your heels are significantly more prone to inflammation and discomfort than in a person with a healthier weight. Even just walking around the grocery store could be enough to aggravate your heels and cause serious discomfort.

Taking care of this problem is tough. The most effective way to address it is to lose weight—which is hard when your feet hurt too much to exercise. The good news is that through conservative methods like shoe changes, orthotics, and even physical therapy, you can help control your discomfort and exercise more safely.

Obesity and heel pain may be tightly connected, but they don’t have to hold you back. You can take steps to prevent and ease discomfort in your lower limbs. Addressing weigh issues can be hard, but you don’t have to—and shouldn’t—do it alone. Let our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. help you improve your foot health and live pain free. Make an appointment online, or call (303) 805-5156 to reach our Colorado offices in Cherry Creek, Parker, and Castle Pines.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC
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