The Link Between Obesity and Foot Pain

Last updated: 08-29-2020

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The Link Between Obesity and Foot Pain

New research by the American Podiatric Medical Association revealed that the vast majority of obese individuals also suffer from at least one foot issue that causes pain.

For their study, researchers at the APMA surveyed 1,275 US adults to learn more about the link between obesity and foot pain. After looking at patient Body Mass scores and asking individuals about any pain they experience, researchers uncovered that 74 percent of overweight Americans deal with some type of foot condition that causes pain, while that number rises to 81 percent for obese Americans.

Excess weight and foot conditions go hand in hand for a number of reasons. For starters, the more weight a person has, the more stress that is channeled to their feet, which can lead to structure breakdown. Secondly, if a person has more weight, the excess pounds can inhibit normal walking patterns. For example, their hips may open up a bit to compensate for the extra weight, which in turn channels stress to areas of the legs and feet that aren’t used to shouldering as much stress. When these areas become overstressed, injuries and pain can strike.

Common Foot Problems Among Obese Individuals
The APMA also graphed which foot conditions overweight and obese individuals were more likely to deal with compared to normal weight individuals. Some of those foot conditions include:

Stress Fractures
Heel Pain
Toenail Problems
Bone Spurs
Tendinitis
Plantar Fasciitis
Treating and preventing foot problems can be difficult for overweight individuals, because the same actions that can help them lose weight lead to pain in their feet. That being said, if you start slow and work your way up, we’re confident that you can shed some pounds and decrease the discomfort in your feet.


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