Your feet support your body with every step you take. But, did you know that your feet absorb force equal to about 120% of your body weight when you walk and nearly 275% of your body weight when you run?

It’s true! The small bones, muscles, and ligaments in your feet bear an incredible amount of weight every day. And that means if you carry extra weight, you could be putting extra strain on your feet.

Being overweight can increase your risk of developing painful foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, but foot pain doesn’t have to be inevitable. David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute in South Ogden, Utah, specialize in plantar fasciitis care, so you can stay active with less pain.

How your weight affects your feet

Your feet are complex, flexible structures. In fact, just one foot has 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Your feet are designed to support you, but carrying extra weight can put increased stress on the delicate structures of your feet. Nearly 75% of American adults are overweight or obese, which means they have more body fat than the recommended amount for their height.

Every extra pound puts more pressure on your feet when you stand, walk, and run. And since your body weight is directly connected to the biomechanics of your feet, your risk of developing pain and injury rises if you’re overweight or obese.

Your weight and plantar fasciitis

One part of your feet that can be particularly susceptible to strain is the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that connects your heel to the ball of your foot, and it helps support the arch of your foot.

However, carrying extra weight can cause small tears to develop and lead to inflammation. The result is called plantar fasciitis. About 10% of people experience it in their lifetime, and 70% of people with plantar fasciitis are obese.

Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Arch pain
  • Heel pain
  • Heel swelling
  • Pain with your first steps in the morning
  • Pain that worsens after exercise
  • Tightness in your Achilles tendon

The pain may be a dull ache or a sharper, stabbing pain. Along with carrying extra weight, your risk of developing plantar fasciitis may be higher if you’re an athlete or you spend long hours standing on hard surfaces without supportive shoes.

Treatment options for your foot pain

Plantar fasciitis can make every step painful. If you’re living with foot pain or heel pain, Dr. Glover can help you find out what’s wrong.

He diagnoses plantar fasciitis with a physical exam. Your treatment will depend on your symptoms and daily activities. Among other options, he may recommend:

  • Losing weight
  • Taking pain medication
  • Engaging in stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Wearing custom orthotics

No matter the source of your foot pain, Dr. Glover can get to the bottom of it and design a treatment plan to help you get well. To learn more, call 801-614-2996 or book an appointment online with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.