The Link Between Obesity and Plantar Fasciitis

The Link Between Obesity and Plantar Fasciitis

Although heel pain from plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet, plantar fasciitis is especially common among individuals with high body mass indexes (BMIs). Your feet withstand a lot of pressure carrying your entire body weight, and a higher body weight places more pressure on the soles. 

Here at Lake Erie Podiatry in Erie, Pennsylvania, plantar fasciitis specialist Michael Ruiz, DPM, can help you explore the link between obesity and plantar fasciitis as well as find ways to manage or prevent pain on the bottom of the foot. Here’s what makes obesity a major risk factor for plantar fasciitis. 

Added stress on the feet

Having a higher percentage of body fat changes the way your body moves. When the weight shifts around in one direction or another, the feet must compensate by distributing the pressure on different parts of the soles. This places undue stress on particular regions of the bottom of the foot such as the arch, heel, or ball. Plantar fasciitis is one likely result of this shifting pressure. 

Diabetes plays a role

Not everyone who is overweight has diabetes, but many people with a higher-than-average body weight develop type 2 diabetes. The elevated level of glucose (sugar) in your blood can cause nerve and tissue damage within the feet over time, which worsens foot problems that already exist, including plantar fasciitis. 

What you can do to support your foot health

Being overweight doesn’t automatically sign you up for plantar fasciitis or other foot problems, but it’s important to acknowledge your higher risk and take steps to address it. Healthy weight loss can lower that risk, but so can a few behavioral changes in your day-to-day routine. 

You can manage your risk for plantar fasciitis and reduce the overall stress on your feet by:

If you feel pain on the bottom of the foot, you can apply an ice pack at home for self-care. If the pain persists despite your attempts at controlling it, professional care for plantar fasciitis is available. It may include custom orthotics, medications, physical therapy, or injections. 

Need plantar fasciitis treatment?

As always, you can also visit Lake Erie Podiatry for additional preventive tips or treatment for plantar fasciitis. Schedule an appointment over the phone or online today. 

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