Daniel L. Reminga, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.
Foot Doctor Houghton, MI
801 Memorial Rd.
Houghton, MI 49931 US
906-482-9950
 

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By Daniel Reminga
April 26, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

When someone looks concerned we often say that they appear to be “carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders”.  Carrying the weight of your entire body on your feet can also be a cause of concern.

How does weight effect your feet?

Your feet bear the weight of your entire body as they carry you through your daily activities and routine. When you think about it…it’s not surprising that being overweight can lead to foot problems. The feet can withstand only so much weight bearing, too much weight can overload the tendons, ligaments, and bones. All that extra pressure on the feet can cause and intensify injury and chronic pain. The amount of extra weight on your feet doesn’t have to be large, even small amounts of excess weight can take a toll.

Experts in the foot and ankle, like Dr. Reminga, have found that too much body weight may increase your chances of developing a variety of painful conditions in your feet. These conditions include:

• Flat feet

• Inflamed tendons

• Osteoarthritis

• Heel pain

Even if weight gain doesn’t cause these problems, it can make them much worse. As a result, a highly dangerous condition occurs... inactivity. When your feet hurt you don’t want to engage in weight bearing activity. People stop going for walks, or working out on their treadmills. Even a trip to the grocery store becomes difficult. Inactivity then contributes to weight gain and other health problems. Dr. Reminga suggests swimming, biking, or elliptical exercise machines as good choices that won’t put extra strain on the feet. As little as an extra 10-20 lbs. can tip the scales and cause problems in the foot and ankle. When overweight, problems can develop in a person’s posture. In this case, the knees tend to come closer together while walking. This shifts the body weight to the insides of the feet. As a result, extra pressure is placed on the arches and tendons in the feet and ankles often leading to hip, knee, and back problems.

Other problems relating to weight and feet

What are some other conditions that relate to being overweight?

Plantar Fasciitis or Tendonitis- These are the most common foot conditions from being overweight. When an excess amount of weight is bearing down on your feet, this will cause the tendons and ligaments to be overused resulting in injury and inflammation.

Collapsed Arches- Excess body weight causes ligaments, muscles, and tendons, which are the supporting structures in your feet, to become weakened and stretched. Overtime this wear and tear breaks down the structure of the feet, resulting in pain to your feet, over pronation, how ones feet hit the ground, and lead to other problems such as pain in the knees and hips.

Gout- This condition affects joints in your feet and ankles. It is known to cause severe, sharp pain. According to Dr. Reminga, the pain is typically located in the big toe. Gout develops when uric acid, a crystallized substance, accumulates in the joints. When a person is overweight, they are more likely to develop gout due to the increased production of uric acid in the body.

Diabetes- Dr. Reminga says, one of the main risk factors that raise your risk of diabetes is being overweight. Diabetes can cause numbness and reduce the amount of blood flow to your feet. Small injuries may occur without even noticing them. As a result, these injuries may heal slowly and the likelihood of developing infection is more likely. Serious problems can even lead to the loss of your feet. In one year, more than 70,000 people with diabetes had to have a foot or lower leg removed surgically.

Peripheral arterial disease- This condition is characterized by the accumulation of plaque in the walls of arteries in the legs. This results in reduced flow of blood to the feet. According to Dr. Reminga, being overweight is a preventable risk factor for peripheral arterial disease.

Dr. Reminga recommends an exercise plan that starts out slowly to help you lose weight. Swimming, biking, and elliptical exercise machines are good choices when starting an exercise program because they have a low impact effect on your feet and at the same time provides cardiovascular benefits.

Too much weight is bad for your heart, your lungs, your knees and even your brain. If you gaze downward, you’ll find the place where you literally feel the extra pounds first…your feet. Dr. Reminga says, “the foot is an amazing machine however; close attention must be paid to your foot health”.

Dr. Reminga at Northern Foot Care Center can help. Dr. Reminga is an expert with 27 years experience in treating foot and ankle problems. Call our office today at 906-482-9950 for a consultation to see how Dr. Reminga can assist you with your foot and ankle pain.

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