There have been quite a few studies that have correlated increased body mass index (BMI) to increased risk of foot pain. Increased weight also increases plantar (bottom of the foot) pressure, changes foot function and places increased stress the numerous structures of the foot. Obesity as defined by the World Health Organization is defined as having a BMI of 30kg/m2 or higher. Overweight individuals have a BMI of between 25 and 29 kg/m2 and have also been shown to be more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to develop foot conditions such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.
Over time the increased stress on the feet can cause the joints to collapse due to the inability of the soft tissues to support the foot joints. One study shows that obese patients have a significantly higher prevalence of disabling foot pain (40%) than overweight patients (23.4%) or normal weight patients (11.4%).
One study in Singapore found that obese patients undergoing bunion surgery were significantly more likely than non-obese patients to need repeat surgery due to complications.
Many obese patients benefit from pre-fabricated or custom foot orthotics to help augment the soft tissues of the feet as well as to prevent break down of the joints of the foot. These devices can be an integral part of a weight loss program by preventing or treating foot pain and allowing the patients to remain more active.
973-927-2525 – Call our office if:
- You experience numbness or tingling of your toes;
- You experience cramping of your toes;
- You have discomfort in several types of shoes; and
- You have a burning or “stabbing” pain in or behind your toes.
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