Are you amongst the many Americans out there struggling with weight issues? Or even obesity? Obesity puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. However, did you realize that carrying extra weight can also put you at an increased risk for foot and ankle pain that may prevent you from functioning at your best, and being able to exercise on a regular basis?
A person whose BMI (body mass index) is greater than or equal to 25 is considered overweight, greater than or equal to 30 is obese. Unfortunately, carrying around extra poundage not only affects your feet, but the ankles, knees, and hips, as well. The way you carry yourself due to the extra weight affects your gait- as it is altered to compensate for the weight of your body. This can make an overweight person more prone to injuries such as a broken ankle or knee problems- some resulting in replacement surgery being necessary.
Your foot health is one more reason to lose weight, added to the long list I’m sure you already have. As this is a common issue we see at our office, Dr. Eric J. Abrams has some recommendations to help address foot pain and discomfort related to being overweight.
- As being overweight is associated with diabetes, check your blood sugar levels regularly. By keeping blood sugar levels under control, you reduce the risk of foot ulcers, which if untreated can lead to life-threatening infections or even amputation!!
- Try to avoid walking barefoot, even at home, as this can injure the skin/soft tissue of your feet.
- Wear padded socks to help protect against injuries to the skin/soft tissue of the foot. Often, as part of an “integrated approach”, it is recommended that padded socks are properly selected and fitted, with shoes with non-slip outsoles.
- Use inserts or orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist that have been properly fitted!
- Make sure you practice very good foot hygiene, examining your feet daily for cuts, bruises and other potential trouble spots.·
- Be sure to get regular foot examinations either from your regular doctor or podiatrist- as extra weight may increase your vulnerability to foot and ankle conditions.
At Foot & Ankle Affiliates of Central NJ, P.C., we have two convenient offices located in Toms River and Eatontown NJ and we can help address any foot and ankle problems you may be facing. Call us to schedule an appointment, so we may get you on the road to healthy and happy feet! And, remember, although losing weight is not easy, it is worth it in the long run. So, please, slim down, your feet will thank you!