Obesity and feet
Reduce your foot pain with orthotic treatment.Appointment
Obesity can cause foot and ankle pain.
Weight gain can cause foot pain, even if it’s only a few pounds.
By gaining weight, people suffering from obesity crush their feet. Several studies have clearly shown that foot and ankle problems are related to a person’s weight and body mass index (BMI is a calculation of your weight based on your height). People with a higher BMI suffer more foot and ankle problems. Excess weight doesn’t have to be significant to make a difference: one study showed that a gain of 5 to 10 pounds was enough to cause foot problems.
Problems vary from patient to patient, but foot and ankle pain often occurs in the support points, tendons and ligaments because the extra weight changes the way the foot functions.
Being overweight can increase pressure on the sole of the foot, flatten the foot, shorten your gait and change the angle of your foot.
Foot problems frequently associated with weight gain include tendonitis of the hind leg, plantar fasciitis, arthritis, pain in the ball of the foot, and fractures and sprains of the foot and ankle. Obesity can damage the foot and ankle joints. Pain from weight gain can lead to even greater weight gain as physical activity becomes more difficult and painful. Relieving the pain caused by heavier than normal weight is a good starting point for losing your extra pounds.
Relief of foot and ankle pain for overweight people
When climbing stairs or walking on sloping ground, the ankle must support 4 to 6 times our body weight. Extra weight makes a big difference. At our Montreal Podiatric Clinic, we have developed a special treatment protocol for people who are overweight. In almost all cases, we can relieve the pain in your feet and ankles to allow you to walk and train comfortably, leading to easier weight loss.
Our experts will evaluate your gait and find where your feet are under too much pressure. When you are overweight, there is much more pressure on your feet and plantar fascia, so you may need treatment for heel pain. We take all these aspects into account when developing a treatment plan for your heel pain.
Treatment plans may include :
- Shoe recommendations
- Custom-made foot orthotics
- Strengthening exercises and stretching
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
If you are starting a weight loss program, we will refer you to :
- Your Family Physician
- A Registered Dietitian
- A personal trainer or physiotherapist to prepare a training plan
Custom-made foot orthosis if you are overweight
Foot orthotics can reduce excessive pressure on the feet and can also treat and prevent foot problems if you are overweight and/or trying to lose weight. A relatively firm orthotic is necessary to support the extra weight. In addition, the orthosis must absorb shocks to reduce pressure on the joints and help prevent arthritis. The arch of the orthosis must follow the arch of the foot perfectly to provide adequate support. Finally, the orthosis must be very comfortable.
Our podiatrist doctor is an expert at making sure that your custom-made orthosis will provide the necessary support and be completely comfortable. Even if prefabricated orthoses are an option, if you suffer from obesity, custom-made orthoses are the best solution to relieve your pain. If you cannot come to our Montreal office for an immediate evaluation, you can try prefabricated foot orthotics such as PowerStep to provide immediate support for your feet, even if it is not the best solution.
Heel pain is common in people who are overweight or obese
If you are in the Montreal area, make an appointment at our Montreal Podiatric Clinic now. If you are not from the area, try our home treatments for heel pain for a few weeks. If you don’t see any improvement, go see a local podiatrist who specializes in heel pain. If you are overweight and suffer from heel pain, we understand that heel pain can prevent you from achieving your weight loss goals. We can help you relieve the pain and get your life back on track.
Standard treatments are often unsuccessful
If you suffer from obesity and heel pain, it is important to know that standard treatments for heel pain may not be effective for you. For example, a thin person with heel pain may decrease their activities for a few days and see a noticeable improvement. This is not the case if you are overweight. High overweight means more pressure, which prevents the fat pad from providing good cushioning.
For this reason, it is much easier to injure the plantar fascia. A simple walk to the mailbox or your car can put too much pressure on your plantar fascia. Being overweight doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain; we can help. It is crucial for anyone who is overweight and experiencing heel pain to be treated immediately. The longer you wait, the more serious the injury.
Nutrition tips for better foot health
Why would a Podiatrist recommend consulting a dietician? In fact, nutritional advice is a crucial step in the treatment of many foot problems. We generally recommend a nutrition consultation for people who are obese or overweight. Being overweight can be very damaging to the feet and weight loss is crucial in many treatments. We can do a lot to help you feel better, which will allow you to do physical activity to lose weight, but most studies have shown that the nutritional aspect is more important than exercise in the weight loss process. In fact, 75% of weight loss is due to diet and 25% to exercise.
Even those who think they are eating well generally reap great benefits from consulting with dietitians.
Since there is a close relationship between foot and ankle problems and weight, we often refer our patients to our dietitians. Below is a list of recommended dietitians in Montreal and surrounding areas.
Should you consult a dietitian or nutritionist?
We recommend that you consult a dietician. Dietitians have completed at least a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field and an internship in a health care facility. After the internship, they must pass a certification exam before being licensed. They must then take continuing education courses to maintain their license.
Nutritionists are not required to complete an internship or examination. Many, but not all, nutritionists have a degree in nutrition. Also, some dietitians may call themselves “nutritionists”, but not all nutritionists are dietitians.