How Losing Weight Can Help your Feet
Your feet are responsible for carrying your entire weight throughout your lifetime. If you happen to be overweight, you are putting extra strain on the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments that make up this part of your body. Losing weight can help your feet be healthier and less likely to cause your problems.
The Relationship Between Weight and your Feet
Being overweight can increase your risk of developing a number of painful foot conditions, including:
- Plantar fasciitis
Even carrying an extra 25 pounds or so can lead to foot problems. For people who are obese, the foot problems become even more pronounced. In this instance, the knees come closer together while walking, which shifts the body weight towards the inside of the foot. This affects the arches and tendons in the feet and ankles and can lead to issues in the back and hips.
Specific Foot Problems Affected by Weight
If you are overweight, you are more likely to develop these conditions which can lead to foot pain and other health issues.
Diabetes can cause numbness in your feet and reduce the blood flow reaching your toes. At that point, you may not notice small injuries or sores, which may heal very slowly. The longer they take to heal, the higher the likelihood they will become infected. An infection can be a very dangerous situation which can lead to amputation in extreme cases.
Gout causes pain, particularly in the big toe. It can also affect the joints in your feet and ankles. This condition is caused by crystals of uric acid accumulate in the joints. If you are overweight, you are more likely to develop gout since your uric acid production will probably be higher.
Lose Weight to Help your Feet
Losing some weight will take pressure off your feet so that they are not carrying as much weight with each step. The bones, ligaments and tendons will be under less stress, and you will be less likely to develop foot conditions due to irritation of the soft tissues in your feet.
Shedding some extra pounds will also lower your risk for diabetes and gout. Being overweight is one of the risk factors for both of these disorders, and even losing a few pounds can make a difference. See your doctor to discuss your weight loss plans and make sure you are not cutting calories too severely and that you are getting regular exercise as part of your improved health plan.