There are few people left in the United States who are unaware of our concerning prevalence of obesity in all age ranges. We’re known for our indulgent and deep-fried foods, as well as our tendency to live more sedentary lifestyles. While this rings true for many, the past few years of research have shown an impressive and steady improvement within our society - we’re losing the weight! That’s something to celebrate about.
With our intentions for the New Year set to inspire us along the way, it can be helpful to learn about what exactly weight loss can potentially help you avoid when it comes to foot and ankle health. Untreated foot and ankle issues can contribute to weight gain by preventing you from being active! There are many other factors that can impact our foot and ankle health throughout our lives; our environment, our family genetics, our footwear… but when these other factors are paired with obesity, the effects can be magnified and manifest into several issues:
Flat feet - excess body weight can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on the many bones, tendons, and ligaments within our feet. Flat feet, also referred to as fallen arches, can contribute to decreased flexibility and stability of the feet.
Plantar Fasciitis - a condition that is unfortunately common, plantar fasciitis happens to a wide range of people; from athletes to sedentary folks and everyone in between. Plantar fasciitis can arise from excess weight weakening this important ligament and causing painful inflammation.
Osteoarthritis - when our feet carry excess weight, this can cause the cartilage in our joints to wear down faster than normal, leading to pain and stiffness. Though aging is the leading cause of osteoarthritis, excess weight only contributes to this happening faster.
These conditions can happen more easily in folks who also have diabetes and other diseases, but there are so many ways a podiatrist like Dr. Michele Kurlanski of Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center can help your feet and ankles avoid additional stress, like providing an in-office shoe store. If you are looking to improve your foot health, call us today at (207) 774-0028 to schedule an appointment with us in Scarborough, Maine.