Obesity and plantar fasciitis are two things that are closely connected. The link between them is well established. Having extra weight means giving your feet more strain. This adds stress to your fascia and your heel. A research in 2007 concluded that the body mass index of 25 were 1.7 times more likely to suffer heel pain but if individuals have a BMI which is 30 or more then the possibility is 2.9 more likely for you to have Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a common orthopaedic complaint of that causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thin web-like ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. It helps you walk and supports the arch of your foot. Because of daily activity, the plantar fascia ligaments undergo a lot of wear and tear. These ligaments are our body’s shock absorber when walking and running but too much pressure on them can tear and damage the ligaments. It can become inflamed and which causes the heel to stiffen and feel pain.
The pain felt by people who have plantar fasciitis usually develops over time. Gradually the pain worsens. It usually affects either foot but can also be felt on both feet. Some people experience dull pain while others feel very sharp pain or a burning sensation which can be felt from the bottom of the foot up to the outward of the heel. The pain is usually felt worse in the morning. The first steps out of bed can be painful and difficult because of the stiffness felt in the heel.
Plantar Fasciitis and Weight Loss
Since the problem with Plantar Fasciitis is putting too much pressure on the foot, will weight loss be a good solution that can let plantar fasciitis go away? If you consider the logic, by and large, plantar fasciitis symptoms will definitely diminish and soon disappear with proper treatment which includes weight loss. The sooner you start losing weight, the sooner you will experience the success rate of losing your pain on the heel.
But unfortunately, losing weight can be hard for people who already have this condition because exercise can add more pressure to the affected area. BUT, do not lose hope because although losing weight can be a challenge, it is not impossible and it is not as hard as you think even if you have plantar fasciitis.
Here are some things that you should be doing to lose weight and eventually let the pain of plantar fasciitis go away:
- Comfortably ease yourself into an active lifestyle. If one day you decide to lose weight, do not try to lose weight in just one day! Comfortably ease yourself into an active lifestyle wherein you can do certain activities that can keep you moving. Buy proper footwear that can support your arches and give comfort to your heel. There are cost efficient heel supports, cushions that can help with the pain and inflammation. Wear compression sleeves that can promote the blood flow in your ankles and foot.
- Gradually increase your activity. As you ease yourself to becoming active again. Incorporate in your routine a couple of walking activities with a few minutes of walking each day, then eventually increasing the number of minutes as you feel that your body is responding positively to your exercises. Pace yourself. The key here is not sudden sprints but consistency and constancy in your chosen exercise. Keep those joints moving!
- Consider doing low impact exercises. To start getting serious in losing weight, you cannot just do it by walking so you have to consider doing low impact exercises like yoga, cycling, water aerobics and swimming. You can definitely burn more calories with these activities without adding too much pressure on your heel.
- Do stretching and exercise for your feet and heel. As much as possible, try to keep your heels lubricated. This means that if you can insert a separate stretching and exercise routine just for your legs, feet and heels then you are on your way to faster recovery.
- Maintain a proper diet. All these activity is great but as we all know they should be accompanied by proper weight management through a good diet. Exercise should go hand in hand with dietary changes. Remember: double the amount of your water intake, the fresh fruits and vegetable you take in, and the amount of protein you eat. Other food groups like flour, sugar, salt should be lessened as they can contribute more to your weight gain and even activate pain in your heel.
When it comes to losing weight while having plantar fasciitis at the same time, it all boils down to your determination. Do not lose hope because of the pain you feel on your heel but instead rise above the pain and solve the problem at once. You can be up and running again and playing your favourite sport without the pain of Plantar Fasciitis in no time! Stay Healthy!
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