Obesity and Foot & Ankle Pain

Obesity can wreak havoc on your feet and ankles. Multiple studies have linked a higher BMI (body mass index) with foot and ankle problems, and even amounts as small as an extra 10 pounds can cause issues. The problems we see most often that are associated with weight are plantar fasciitis, arthritis and posterior tibial tendonitis — all painful.

It has been estimated that every pound of body weight causes three pounds of force that your feet have to absorb when you’re walking, and seven pounds when running. That means a 200 pound person’s feet would be subject to 600 pounds of force with every step, and 1,400 pounds of force when running.

Our feet were designed to withstand a certain amount of force, so extra weight can cause all sorts of problems with your feet, ankles and knees. With every extra pound you carry, your risk increases for osteoarthritis, stress fractures, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, flatfeet, pronation, bunions, hammertoes, heel spurs, frequent ankle sprains, shin splints, and all types of pain.

Not to mention the fact that obesity increases your risk of Type II Diabetes, which leads to nerve disease that is the #1 reason why people have to have their feet, toes, legs, hands and arms amputated.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be as difficult as we usually make it. Here are some basic tips:

1. Find out exactly how overweight you are. Click here to see where you and your kids fall on the obesity scale, so you’ll know what a healthy weight would be for your height. If your weight falls in the overweight or obese range, it’s time to get moving!

2. Avoid processed food, junk food and fast food, which have more fake ingredients and sugar. A good rule of thumb is the more human hands or machines have touched it, the worse it is for you. Instead, choose foods that are the way nature gave them to us. Try to eat mostly fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, and chicken cutlets, fish, pork loins or steak (grilled or baked).

3. Stick to the outer edges of the grocery store, where the fruits and veggies, meats and dairy are located. Most of the stuff in the aisles is processed and will add pounds instead of taking them away.

4. Get some exercise! Turn the TV and video games off for an hour each night and take a walk with your kids. Ride a bike. Work in the yard. Take a walk at lunchtime. Any activity you get is going to help.

The Centers for Disease Control has some great information about living healthy.

If you are overweight and are experiencing any foot or ankle pain, call our office for an appointment. We can treat and relieve the symptoms, and provide recommendations on how to take hold of your weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

Our Office

Comfort and convenience are priorities of Futch Podiatry. Located in Ponte Vedra, Florida, our state of the art facility was designed with patient comfort, safety, and ease of access in mind.