Studies have shown that even modest weight loss can significantly reduce pressure and tension in the lower extremities, leading to relief of foot pain. If you are dealing with foot pain and are also overweight, losing weight can help your gait go faster and reduce the strain on your feet. Excess weight causes the tendons in the feet to swell, leading to painful conditions such as plantar fasciitis and Morton's neuroma. Weight loss helps relieve pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, taking pressure off your feet so they don't carry as much weight with each step.
Bones, ligaments and tendons will be under less stress and less likely to develop foot conditions due to irritation of the soft tissues of the feet. In addition to reducing the size of the feet, losing weight can affect the functioning of the feet while a person is standing and moving. The knees approach when walking, which shifts the body weight towards the inside of the foot. Studies have shown significant differences in gait and plantar load between obese and normal weight people.
As expected, weekly behavior modification sessions with portion-controlled meals resulted in significant weight loss at 3 months. The arch height index (AHI) is a ratio of arch height at half the length of the foot to the truncated length of the foot (the distance from the heel to the center of the first metatarsophalangeal joint). If you're overweight, you're putting extra strain on the 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up this part of your body. The good news is that losing weight while suffering from plantar fasciitis is entirely possible, and can even be enjoyable, if you are diligent in incorporating lifestyle changes.
Just keep in mind that if you have new foot problems, especially sudden pain or swelling, it's best to see a podiatrist. Overall, striving for a healthy weight can ease foot pain and prevent further damage and symptoms. Losing some weight will take pressure off your feet so they don't carry as much weight with each step. The sooner treatment begins (including weight loss) and the more consistent the treatment, the higher the success rate.
Only 20 to 30 extra pounds of weight can cause serious problems for the feet and, over time, can cause the arch of the foot to collapse.