As the holiday seasons get closer and closer, people start thinking about holiday treats—the pies, cookies, candies, and more—and the few extra pounds that almost inevitably follow. Gaining weight around the holidays is considered an unfortunate norm. What most people don’t realize, however, are the effects gaining weight can have on your lower limbs. Weight and foot stress are actually closely connected.
Gaining weight is hard to avoid, even outside of the holiday seasons. Unfortunately, excess weight can be a contributing factor to foot problems. Your feet are your supporters. They have to handle pressure from your entire body bearing down on them. They have to support the hard impacts of striking the ground. They have to push your body weight forward to take a step. This is hard work, and the heavier you are, the more stress ordinary actions like standing and walking put on your bones, muscles, and supporting structures in your lower limbs.
This stress can easily contribute to irritation and inflammation in soft tissues. This is particularly common in the plantar fascia and the Achilles. Excess pressure over time can lead to wearing down in your joints, and eventually contribute to arthritis problems, too. Too much weight can actually strain the supporting ligaments in your arches as well, and possibly make your midfoot flatten out. All of this can be very uncomfortable for your lower limbs.
Worse, being overweight actually contributes to some serious diseases. Diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), and even gout are all much more common in people who are overweight. These diseases unfortunately can lead to a lot of damage in your lower limbs, from limiting circulation to deadening nerves to simply causing intense joint pain. All of these can limit your mobility and make normal life more painful for you.
The good news is that you can do some pretty simple things to help reduce excess weight and keep your lower limbs healthy. Exercise as simple as walking regularly can be a huge help. Wearing the right shoes can make a big difference, too.If you’re already struggling with weight and foot stress pain, don’t let the holidays pass by without doing something about it. Our team of experts at Podiatry Associates, P.C. in Cherry Creek, Castle Pines, and Parker, CO, are happy to help. Call (303) 805-5156 or use our website to make an appointment with us.