How Extra Weight Wears On Your Feet

Weight and Your FeetNo matter where on your body you carry extra weight, your feet and ankles end up bearing the load, and those few more pounds cause your posture and gait to change, which also can affect your arches and tendons.

Due to gravity alone, your feet are under constant pressure in addition to the demanding bio-mechanical task of carrying you through your daily routine, so it’s not surprising that being overweight can lead to foot problems.

Your Weight and Feet: Understanding the Relationship

Research has found that having too much body weight may increase your chances of a variety of painful conditions in the feet, including:

  • Tendon inflammation
  • Inflammation in the plantar fascia, the tough band of tissue in the sole of your foot
  • Osteoarthritis

You don’t have to be extremely obese to run into problems. “Even 25 extra pounds can tip the scales to more problems in the foot and ankle,” says James Mahoney, DPM, an associate professor of podiatric surgery at Des Moines University in Iowa.

And for people who are obese, the problems can multiply. Foot problems often develop from the changes in posture caused by carrying too much weight, says Dr. Mahoney. In these cases, the knees tend to come closer together while walking, which shifts the body weight to the insides of the feet. This can be bad for the arches and tendons in the feet and ankle, and lead to hip and back problems.

Your Weight and Feet: Specific Problems

Being overweight makes you more likely to develop several conditions that can lead to foot pain and other problems, such as:

  1. Gout. This condition is known for causing sharp, severe pain, typically in the big toe. It can also affect other joints in your feet and ankles. Gout develops when crystals of a substance called uric acid accumulate in your joints.
  2. Diabetes. Being overweight is one of the main factors that raise your risk of diabetes. Diabetes can cause numbness in your feet and can reduce the amount of blood flow that reaches your feet. As a result, you may develop small injuries without noticing them, and these injuries may heal very slowly and develop infections. These can grow into serious problems that can even lead to the loss of your feet.
  3. Peripheral arterial disease. This condition is marked by an accumulation of plaque in the walls of arteries in the legs. As a result, the flow of blood to the feet is reduced.

Your Weight and Feet: How to Get Moving

One problem that arises for people who have weight-related foot conditions is how to get the physical activity that helps in weight loss without causing foot injuries, Mahoney says. If you’re overweight and have concerns about hurting your feet, he recommends starting with low-impact aerobic activities, such as water aerobics.

In addition to working with your doctor to make sure your heart and lungs can handle the challenge from a new exercise program, talk to a podiatrist to make sure your shoes are the right size and offer the proper support. Be sure to start exercising gradually, and avoid activities that cause pain.

PREGNANCY

Weight gain due to pregnancy is hopefully a temporary condition, however many changes occur to the body and, as a result, women who are pregnant are more likely to be affected by certain foot conditions.

FLAT FEET

The most common foot-related symptom reported during pregnancy is foot pain, which usually results from flattening of the feet. The characteristics of the pain can vary widely, from a dull ache to a sharp or throbbing pain.

This occurs because the body weight of a woman increases significantly during pregnancy and it is distributed around the body differently to other weight gain. Specifically, the arch of the foot can flatten out and the feet roll inwards when walking, referred to as over-pronation. This can cause movement to become very painful and place additional strain on the feet, calves and back. Changes to the relaxin hormone during pregnancy are also thought to be associated with causing these effects.

To reduce the over-protonation and resulting pain, it is important for pregnant women to wear appropriate footwear that supports the arch of the foot. Orthotics that are designed to correct flattening of the feet can also be helpful in some cases.

SWELLING

Swelling of the feet, also known as edema, usually presents in the second or third trimester of the pregnancy. This occurs as a result of the increased blood volume and blood pressure, which leads to water retention and swelling in the legs and feet.

To reduce the swelling, it is important to keep moving regularly to move the circulation of blood and stop the fluid from pooling in the legs and feet. Taking short breaks to walk around during long periods of sitting can be helpful, in addition to raising the feet on a stool when sitting. Staying hydrated and reducing salt intake can also aid in reducing blood volume and reducing edema.

INGROWN TOE NAILS

Ingrown toenails are more common in pregnant women, due to the changes in the size, shape and positioning of the foot. The nail is more likely to be pushed into the surrounding skin with tight-fitting shoes or socks, and it can be difficult to trim the toes correctly without help.

Regular salt-water baths can help to relieve the pain and the softened skin can gently pushed back and away from the nail to improve the condition.

HOT OR BURNING SENSATIONS

Some women who are pregnant also experience hot or burning sensations in their feet, which result from hormonal changes that cause an increase in body temperature. These sensations can be heightened when the woman is fatigued and, in some cases, may inhibit sleep.

CRACKED HEELS

Cracked heels are also a common complaint, which is caused by changes in weight and posture associated with pregnancy. The heels tend to expand, leading to cracks if the skin becomes too dry.

MANAGEMENT OF FOOT CONDITIONS

There are a number of treatment techniques that can help to reduce the symptoms associated with foot conditions in pregnancy. These include:

  • Elevating the feet
  • Wearing appropriate footwear
  • Wear seamless socks that do not constrict circulation
  • Take regular breaks to stretch legs during long periods of sitting
  • Keep physically active with low-intensity exercise such as walking
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water
  • Avoid foods high is salt

Over-pronation of the feet can be managed by opting for appropriate footwear and the use of orthotics. Shoes should be comfortable with extra support and shock absorption, and orthotics can give additional support to the arch and heel of the foot to correct the positioning. A podiatrist can help in the process to examine the foot positioning and make recommendations as to the most appropriate orthotic for the situation.

Visit sources at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/foot-health/weight-loss-and-foot-health.aspx

https://www.news-medical.net/health/Foot-Conditions-and-Pregnancy.aspx

Happy New Year and Happy Feet With Proper Foot Care

proper foot Care for the New YearThe year of 2018 is just around the corner. This may be the perfect time to start the new year with a self rewarding plan for your overall well-being. One great way to start is with with your fabulous and fearless feet. After all, they are daily responding to the call of duty in shoes, pumps or boots out there to bring you where you need to be.

You will be surprised to know your feet are literally supporting the weight you bring to them when stepping out into the world. When you step out and carry on with your daily life duties, you are asking your feet to respond accordingly. At the dawn of 2018, we feel it is important to bring to your attention some very important foot care tips, duties and reminders that will give you a better outlook for your overall well-being and beauty.

Foot Care for the New Year

Here is what you can do and set aside some time to do them:

  • Keep a foot pampering schedule–twice a month–to stay on track for massage, pedicure, oil/salt infused soak, exfoliation and close inspection for any oddities.
  • Be open to new technology in footwear to serve your feet better–without sacrificing
     style.
  • Try having a orthotic foot scan to determine your arch type, pronation and gait.

The Spring season is only a few months away which requires consistent foot care. This foot care will bring you with a head start in feeling and looking great when it is time to bring your feet out with a lighter and casual footwear.

Get this early head start with these easy Do’s and Don’ts:

– Do examine your feet daily after washing (always completely dry)

– Don’t let your feet become wet and cold for long periods

– Do wear socks that wick moisture away to keep your feet dry

– Don’t wear heavy socks that make your shoes too snug or tight

– Do moisturize daily, but not between toes (can cause fungus growth)

– Don’t ever cut cuticles (gently push them back)

– Do find shoes that don’t sacrifice comfort for looks (you can have both)

– Don’t wear anything that causes friction or discomfort

– Do trim nails straight across and file edges slightly

– Don’t cut calluses on your own (by doctor only)

– Do look for cushioned foot bed with arch support

– Do use pumice stone to gently remove hard skin after washing

– Don’t ignore chronic swollen feet and ankles (see your doctor)

For those family members and friends suffering from diabetes, remind them the importance of foot care awareness. It will prevent further possible complications.

Finally, keep in mind your feet take the weight of your whole body and go through a lot of wear and tear. By making them susceptible to injury, fatigue and infections will help your overall health. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, neglecting your feet can lead to unnecessary pain and other foot problems. Now it is the time to make an effort to keep your feet happy as 2018 is about to start.

Ways to Revitalize Your Aging Feet

What Causes Our Feet to Age?

Like any body parts our feet get old leading to other health complications resulting in physical limitations. In order to remedy the situation, you can always revitalize your aging feet utilizing different methods.

Throughout the years our feet get a lot of abuse without even noticing it. The constant pressure and weight endured can make them prone to injuries and fatigue. You might aw well add to these foot problems, the creation  of microorganisms, and infections which may spread through your whole body.

Since our feet are often taken for granted, finding the required preventive care can be cumbersome. On many occasions, it is up to us to find the solutions addressing the required preventive care. As we go along through life, this preventive care must focus on issues such as: poor circulation, muscle and bone aches, and  infections originating bacteria’s and fungi.

Composition of our Feet

When we age, our feet have a tendency to lose this fatty protection, we’ve come accustomed to. Coupled with photo-aging, your skin on your feet becomes wrinkled and lose its natural elasticity. Your soft skin you felt when you were rubbing your feet at 20, is much more leathery and rough. This process give your feet an undesirable appearance while depreciating your health overall.

Scientists and doctors have experimented and discovered natural agents to revitalize aging feet. They emanate from essential oils and extracts from various plants. Eucalyptus is a perfect example. These agents contribute greatly in energizing and protecting our older feet.  With protected healthy feet comes a better sense of well-being and the need to be more active even happy. As you get older, it turns out to be more important. A younger and healthier appearance will also block any potential infections and illnesses.

Exfoliating your feet can help your feet immensely while giving your feet the soft and silky skin you want. You can find this article, we published on exfoliating your feet a few months ago, which could benefit you greatly.

If you look at the structure and composition of your feet, you’ll be amazed to know it encompasses 25% of all the body’s bones. In addition, to cover these bones, the thickest layer of skin can be found on your feet.  Think of your feet as the shock absorbers, the propulsion and the wheels of your car. A lot of stress is demanded from your feet daily.

Despite the fact, your feet have a generous layer of skin and a substantial amount of padding, they are also vulnerable and sensitive. You see, the soles of your feet consist of a lot of pressure-sensitive nerves. Actually, they have the most pressure-sensitive nerves than the rest of the whole body. Finally, these tactile nerve endings also occupy more room in the sensory cortex of the brain than the entire torso.

Revitalize Your Aging Feet With This Preventive Care List

Below are some important information you will need to know in order to revitalize your aging feet.

Aging Feet Information
  • While the foot is one of the most widely utilized parts of the body, most of us neglect proper foot care.
  • The feet are not only subjected to tremendous mechanical stress, they must also resist fungal and bacterial infections, ultraviolet-light exposure, dehydration, and everyday aches and pains.
  • Natural substances such as essential oils, herbal essences, antioxidants, and plant-derived fatty acids can help your feet look and feel younger.
  • Eucalyptus oil and menthol will cool and soothe foot discomfort while promoting a clean and fresh feeling.
  • Tea-derived antioxidants fight free radical-induced damage caused by toxins and maintain youthful skin structure and appearance.
  • Squalene replenishes the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Coconut oil softens skin while fighting microbial invaders. Shea butter provides skin-healing vitamin E while lessening discoloration and healing chapped skin.
  • Essential steps in optimal foot care include gently washing the feet with mild soap, exfoliating calloused skin with a scrub or pumice, patting feet dry, and regularly applying a high-quality, skin-protective foot cream.

Conclusion

Aging is not a reversible process. But it is always possible to slow it down by taking actions. Our feet, like many other body parts need to have this preventive care so it doesn’t result in further complications later in life.

Your feet deserve the best of care especially during later life when there is are risks of infection, photoaging, dehydration, and daily aches and pain. Remember as you age, those risks increase. Do the simple things like washing them regularly and using good foot cream containing natural, health-promoting ingredients.

The use of natural agents and botanical extracts should also be considered to help revitalize your aging feet. Having healthy feet will make you happier and more active.

Terry Metzger

Terry is podiatrist in the United States and is regular contributor to Foot Revitalize. His vast expertise in the foot care industry is a valuable asset to Foot Revitalize. He has been a podiatrist for the last 6 years.