A local gym in Seattle has a weight loss program comparable to the most famous weight loss program of all--“The Biggest Loser”. Promotions for this show and for other weight loss programs frequently talk about how much better you’ll look, how much energy you’ll have, and how losing weight can save your life. Although all of these things are true, rarely do I see anyone singing about the wonders of weight loss for your feet.
Our poor feet often get the short shrift, even though we all know that good foot health is vital to our wellbeing. A survey conducted in 2012 drove home the importance of weight loss on feet. The National Foot Health Assessment showed that 51% of survey respondents who describe their foot health as poor or fair were overweight and obese. Only 21% of those who took the survey said their feet were poor or fair were of normal weight.
This is not surprising when you consider that every pound of body weight creates three pounds of force when walking and seven pounds when running. A person weighing 200 pounds would place 600 pounds of force on their feet when walking and 1400 pounds of force when running.
Although foot problems can occur in anyone of any weight, it’s clear that losing weight can provide great benefits to your feet.
What foot problems more likely to occur in a person who is overweight or obese?
- Heel pain– extra weight puts more force on the arch with every step causing it to flatten out to a greater degree than normal. This pulls on the fibers of the plantar fascia (the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot) causing micro tears leading to plantar fasciitis and heel spurs.
- Bunions– overweight can contribute to the formation of bunions and their progression. Overpronating or walking with the toes pointed outward is more common in overweight people which increases the change of getting bunions.
- Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction– the posterior tendon supports the arch. Excess weight will place a lot of stress on this tendon when walking, and when it’s overused it can develop tendonitis.
As someone who treats diabetic patients, weight loss is something I frequently discuss with all my patients.
To learn more about weight loss and to be treated for conditions of the foot caused by overweight, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.
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Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.