It stands to reason that your feet are more likely to stay in good condition if they’re not stressed by the constant pressure of excess weight.
The National Foot Health Assessment 2012 study performed for the Institute for Preventive Foot Health revealed that over half of survey takers who classified their foot health as “poor” or “fair” were obese, so the problem is real and widespread.
At Washington Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine, we take a whole-patient approach to foot care. This means that preventive care is as important as symptom-related treatment when it comes to achieving optimal foot health.
What’s the difference between being overweight or obese?
Fortunately, the classification process is pretty cut-and-dried. If your body mass index (BMI) is equal to or exceeds 25, you’re considered overweight, while a BMI of 30 or over puts you in the obese category.
How does being overweight hurt my feet?
Subjecting your hardworking feet to too much weight goes against how incredibly designed your feet are. Each person, depending on their height and build, has an ideal weight they should maintain, and things tend to go awry with your feet when that balance is disturbed.
Obesity contributes to many foot problems, including:
- Fallen arches, or flat feet
- Muscle, bone, and ligament stress and damage
- Disabling foot pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Diabetic foot problems like neuropathy
Additional weight can force you to walk in a way that isn’t ideal and makes your feet more vulnerable to injury. Even as little as 20 pounds can have a negative effect on your feet and overall comfort.
What can I do to lose weight and put less stress on my feet?
You already know what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Basically, it’s thumbs up for lots of fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and whole foods, and thumbs down for processed meals, fried foods, and too many sweets.
The Catch-22 is that the very thing you’re supposed to engage in to lose weight — physical exercise — can cause pain in your feet when you’re overweight. There are steps you can take to make exercise comfortable though:
- Get advice from our team on proper footwear and orthotics
- Consider low-impact exercise like swimming
- Consult us about a physical therapy regimen or a simple series of exercises specifically for your feet
You can rest assured that any treatment plan we create for you takes into consideration your individual medical history, your current complaints, and a desire to start with conservative treatments and go from there.
Banish your foot pain
You certainly don’t have to tolerate foot pain and discomfort that’s weight-related. You can proactively manage it with the Washington Foot and Ankle team behind you.
Put your feet first by calling our conveniently located Kirkland office at 425-243-4957 to schedule a consultation.