Obesity and Your Feet: Facing the Effects

How obesity affects your feetThe American culture is more than a little obsessed with body weight issues. You see this in the sheer number of diets, weight loss programs, and health articles. It’s true, the country has a huge problem with being overweight—more than two-thirds of the adult population qualifies as either overweight or obese. Health experts rightly highlight the many negative effects of excess weight on your body. What most people miss, however, is the connection between obesity and foot pain.

How Extra Pounds Strain Your Limbs

Your feet support you every day. This means they are carrying the weight of your entire body, along with the added pressure of propelling you forward when you walk. They are designed for this. However, they do have something of a weight limit. Extra pounds add pressure to the lower limbs. This strains all of your foot structures, overstretching your connective tissues and weighing down your joints. Your feet have to work much harder to keep you upright and mobile under these conditions.

The Effects of Obesity on Feet

It doesn’t take much extra weight for you to feel the pressure on your lower limbs. You’re more likely to develop sore feet from walking or standing. Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, metatarsalgia, and nerve issues are more common as well. You might need bigger shoes to accommodate your feet and avoid blisters or chafing. Stress on the joints can contribute to osteoarthritis issues. Since extra weight shifts your posture, you may develop balance and mobility problems. You’re also at a higher risk for diabetes and all the complications that arise from it. You’re even prone to nail problems, since it can be harder to keep your nails properly trimmed when you’re overweight.

How You Can Protect Your Lower Limbs

At Podiatry Associates, P.C., we understand how hard it is to maintain a healthy weight and to lose excess pounds. Sedentary desk jobs, busy schedules, and unhealthy eating habits make it difficult. However, you can and should take steps to accommodate your feet and protect them from the effects of obesity. Our team will carefully examine your lower limbs and determine if your weight plays a role in your current discomfort. Then we will work with you to find ways to alleviate the problem.

Obviously, the most helpful step is to exercise and lose weight. For many people, this is easier said than done. You may need a special plan to exercise and change your diet habits safely and effectively. Most likely you’ll need to pay attention to your shoes to alleviate a lot of discomfort. Stick to styles that are supportive and well-cushioned in the soles to help you absorb shock from walking. Orthotics can correct biomechanical issues that may have developed. Good socks can help with chafing and blisters. Make sure you wash your feet carefully, too, and check them every day for changes that may be signs of bigger problems.

Solving the issue of obesity and foot pain can’t be done overnight, and it’s definitely not easy. There are so many factors that play into weight issues. If you’re overweight at all and struggling with foot discomfort, don’t ignore it. The good news is that you don’t have to face the problem alone. Our team at Podiatry Associates, P.C. wants to help you live pain-free and actively. Contact us online to get help now. You can also call our Parker and Castle Pines, CO, offices at (303) 805-5156 to connect with us.
Dr. Cynthia Oberholtzer-Classen, DPM
Founder and Owner of Podiatry Associates, PC