Obesity is much more problematic than just carrying a few extra pounds, defined by the world health organisation as ‘excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. In the UK, around 25% of the adult population are obese.
A good way of testing your BMI is by calculating your BMI; this will show how healthy your weight is compared to your height. Calculating your body mass index is a fantastic starting point if you’re starting on a weight loss journey and want to measure progress.
Excess weight means extra pressure!
Your feet are delicate but strong; designed to support our bodies through all activity. However, due to their elegant structure, they struggle to cope with excess weight and the pressure that constitutes. The heavier an individual, the more strain their feet are under, causing developing foot problems and often cause frequent foot pain.
Below are just some of the obesity-related foot problems.
Diabetic foot issues
Diabetes is a condition defined by high blood sugar levels, and being obese is a risk factor associated with type 2 diabetes. Additionally, diabetes can reduce the blood flow to your feet and cause a loss of feeling meaning that you may not recognise if your foot is sore or injured. This can be an open invitation to infections and nerve damage which can lead to possible foot deformities and a lot of foot pain.
Gout correlates with high-fat food and beverages, that contain large amounts of purines. Purines raise the body’s uric acid levels, and if an acid crystal build-up occurs primarily around the big toe joints, it can cause a gout attack. Also, you may experience unbearable pains in and around your big toe joints.
Splayed feet are caused due to the mix of excess fat and pressure. It makes feet flatter and broader and weakens your feets arches until they become fallen. If you suffer from splayed feet, you may also find that your shoes are too tight, leading to rubbing on your skin, blisters, corns and sores.
As a result of flattened foot arches, your feet may roll inwards causing problems when walking and dealing with the impact when your feet strike the ground.
If your feet are currently suffering from these types of problems, you must consult your podiatrist to ensure they do not develop further up the kinetic chain, for example, to your ankles or knees.
Consider talking to your podiatrist about any obesity worries, or even seeking help from a charity such as Obesity UK who may also offer you support. Foot grievances can impact your mobility, and exercise is a crucial part of reaching your weight loss goal.
Experienced chiropodists can provide foot care for those noticing problems due to obesity by determining the issues’ nature and austerity. Biomechanical assessments help provide equitable solutions such as exercises that can reduce stiffness or orthotic insoles to correct abnormalities and make movement more comfortable.