Obesity is an ever-increasing problem in American society. Currently, up to one-third of the U.S. population is considered obese, defined as a body mass index greater than 30. Although it seems obvious, many studies have found a direct link between increased BMI and foot problems. Not only is there an increased risk of wear-and-tear problems (such as arthritis, tendonitis, and heel pain), but also an increased risk of developing type II diabetes. As little as one pound above your ideal weight can increase pressure in your hips, knees, and ankles by as much as eight pounds. Simply walking up a flight of stairs or up an incline can increase pressure on the ankle by four to six times. Weight control can be an essential component to alleviate foot pain.
Your Podiatrist Will Encourage Weight Management
Your foot and ankle surgeon can be your biggest advocate in losing weight. Often, the surgeon will require a large amount of weight loss (40 to 100+ lbs) before any reconstructive foot or ankle surgery can be performed. In addition to diet modification, exercise, such as walking, is encouraged. This can be difficult with foot pain. A foot and ankle surgeon can advise on shoe selection, stretching, and even orthotics to keep you walking and help you reach your goals.