Your feet are essentially your body’s platform and are made to carry the weight of your entire body as you go about your day. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that being overweight could result in foot problems.
Having high body weight may lead to painful conditions such as inflammation of the foot tissue, osteoarthritis or tendon inflammation.
You do not necessarily have to be obese to experience these problems. Being as little as 25 pounds overweight could put you at higher risk of foot and ankle issues.
Obesity, however, could heighten the risk even further. When carrying too much weight, the body’s posture can change, shifting the body weight to the wrong parts of the feet.
In addition to pain, inflammation and discomfort, there are several specific health issues that show a link between poor foot health and being overweight.
People who are overweight are at much higher risk of developing diabetes – a condition that may lead to a decrease in foot sensation and a reduced blood flow. This makes the individual more likely to experience smaller injuries that may turn into serious problems if not treated effectively in good time.
According to the NHS and Diabetes UK, there are around 135 patients per week undergoing foot and leg amputations related to diabetes.
Gout can cause sharp foot pain, most commonly in the toes and joints. The condition occurs when uric acid becomes crystallised and accumulates in the joints. People who are overweight are at higher risk as their bodies produce higher levels of uric acid.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Peripheral arterial disease is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the legs and feet. The plaque is caused by fatty deposits and is more likely to occur in those who are overweight.
Staying active and eating a healthy, balanced diet will reduce your risk of developing the above conditions and keep your feet healthier in the process.
Many people don’t realise that simply moving around more counts as physical activity that can aid weight loss without putting them at risk of foot injuries.
For those who are significantly overweight, it’s important to begin with low-impact activities.
After taking the steps to improve your physical activities and working with a doctor to improve your overall health, try getting in touch with a podiatrist.
Beta Feet Podiatry can advise on the best shoes for your condition in addition to the correct sizing and support.