The health risks of excess weight and obesity feature frequently in the news, but one aspect not often reported on is the effect they can have on your feet. In fact, excess weight contributes to a myriad of foot problems routinely seen by podiatrists.
One of the most serious is diabetic foot ulcers, which are persistent sores or wounds that develop on the feet of people with diabetes. The link between excess weight and type 2 diabetes is well known; what is less known is that foot ulcers are the most common reason for hospital stays – and lower limb amputations – in people who have diabetes.
Excess weight can also be linked to chronic heel pain, one of the most common reasons people seek help from a podiatrist. Conditions causing heel pain, which excess weight will exacerbate, include plantar fasciitis, heel spurs and Achilles tendonitis.
Even some relatively minor foot problems can be affected by your weight: one cause of cracked heels, for example, is excess weight increasing the pressure on the fat pad under the heel, causing it to expand sideways and the surrounding skin to fissure.
If you are overweight, losing even a few kilograms will make a difference to your feet. It is important to remember, however, that weight loss alone may not eliminate persistent foot problems.
For advice on other contributing factors, contact us.