Obesity and Foot Pain

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is now officially classified as a disease. Considering that our feet carry the entire weight of our bodies, it stands to reason that being overweight or obese can increase your odds of experiencing foot pain. Even being twenty-five pounds overweight increases your chances of foot and/or ankle pain. Extra weight causes additional strain on the arches, tendons, ligaments and muscles. Over time this strain can lead to pain that radiates up the ankles to the shins, knees, hips and back.

Arches are  important because they act as shock absorbers for the body. They are made up of bones, ligaments, and tendons. When the arch is not given proper support or is flat, it can lead to more debilitating conditions -

* Plantar Fasciitis (heel spurs) is the most prevalent foot problem in overweight individuals.

* Pronation is often a result of fallen arches. Overpronation is a common culprit in lower leg, knee and back pain.

* Sprained ankles may be more likely to occur when the surrounding ligaments become stressed.

* Shin splints, pain in the knees, hips and back can be linked to problems with the arches.

Being overweight can also lead to other issues that affect the feet -

* Diabetes can cause numbing of the feet and affects blood flow making sufferers less likely to notice injuries and prone to infections. These infections can lead to amputations of the foot and/or lower leg.

* Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a buildup of plaque in the arteries of the extremities reducing blood flow.

* Gout occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid creating crystals in the joint of the big toe and/or ankle.

Those who are overweight or obese are recommended to become more active and lose weight. This causes the dilemma:

How does an overweight person become physically active enough to lose weight without causing injuries to the feet?

First things first - Check with your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen. Low impact aerobic exercise is generally recommended. Water aerobics and riding a stationary bike are great ways to be more active without stressing the feet.

Everyone knows losing weight is hard. If it were easy, everyone would be thin. Always start slow and increase your activity as your stamina builds.

The health benefits that come along with shedding  pounds can be substantial.

OSHATOES® wants you to be healthy and happy.

For more information on foot pain associated with obesity check out these sites,

http://www.everydayhealth.com/ 

http://www.ourhealthnetwork.com/