Losing Weight When You Have Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis and obesity are things that are commonly associated to each other. The link between these two is pretty well established. Having additional weight means that your feet receive more strain. This adds stress to the fascia and the heels. A research done in 2007 showed that the body mass index of 25 were 1.7 times more likely to experience heel pains, people are in the 30+ range however are 2.9 times more likely to have Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a common orthopedic condition that manifests as pain in the bottom of the heels. The plantar fascia is a thin ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. This ligament helps you walk and support the arches of your feet. Due to daily activities, the plantar fascia ligaments receives a lot of wear and tear. The plantar fascia is typically seen as the body’s shock absorber when walking and running and just like the ones we find in our cars too much pressure on them can damage these shock absorbers. They can become inflamed which causes the heel to stiffen and feel pain.
The pain felt by people who have acquired plantar fasciitis is one that develops over time. Gradually the pain increases. It usually affects one foot but can also be felt on both feet. Some people experience dull pain while others feel sharp pains or burning sensations which are felt from the bottom of the foot up to the heel. These pains are usually worse in the morning as the body was in a state of rest for a long period of time. The first few steps when you get out of bed can be quite painful and difficult because of the stiffness of the heels.***
Who are at Risk of Plantar Fasciitis?
Obesity adds to the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Weight adds strain on the fascia ligaments and also increases pain making the condition a bit more severe. Pregnancy also increases weight and make women a bit more prone to plantar fasciitis. People who engage in long distance running are most likely to have the condition as the ligaments are exposed to a lot of stress. People who have jobs that require a lot of standing up for long periods of time such as factory workers or restaurant staff are also more likely to be affected. People who have active lifestyles ranging in the age range of 40 to 70 have the highest risk of getting plantar fasciitis.
How Weight Loss affects Plantar Fasciitis
As plantar fasciitis is caused by putting a lot of pressure on the feet, weight loss can be a good solution to make the ailment go away. By logic, the more weight you put on your feet the more stress they receive increasing the risks of getting plantar fasciitis or increasing the pain caused by it. With proper treatment and appropriate weight loss the condition can be remedied and the pain can be reduced. The sooner the weight is reduced on the hell the sooner the pain goes away.
Weight loss however is not the easiest thing for most people, especially those who already have plantar fasciitis. This is because weight loss does not happen simply by eating less, exercise is a crucial part of weight reduction and for those who already have plantar fasciitis this can be a difficult task because of the pain. Something that we have to remember is that exercise does not have to be extremely rigorous nor does it have to be running or jogging.
To help with losing weight, here are some things that you can do to lose weight and eventually relieve yourself of the pains caused by plantar fasciitis:
- Shift to an active lifestyle. Once you have decided to lose weight, keep in mind that it is not an overnight thing. Don’t bust yourself up on a single day expecting results to magically happen. Gradually ease yourself into the active lifestyle where in you can continuously do certain activities that keep you moving. Get the correct foot wear that can support your arches and are comfortable to your heel. There are a lot of cost efficient heel cushions and support that can help manage the pain and inflammation. Compression sleeves/socks are a great option as they improve the blood flow going to the legs and ankles which greatly help the reduction in inflammation.
- Increase physical activity. Since you have started to shift to an active lifestyle. Begin to incorporate walking into your routine, walking for a few minutes daily and gradually increasing the duration of the exercise when you begin to feel your body being able to cope with it. Remember to still pace yourself, do not aim for speed! There is no need to sprint as the goal is consistency and constancy in the routine. You have to keep the joints moving.
- Engage in low impact exercises. While walking helps out a lot, walking alone is not enough to provide good progress in to your weight loss mission. Integrating low impact exercises like yoga, cycling, and swimming will help speed up the process. These activities do not stress the body out too much but increase the number of calories that are burnt on a daily basis.
- Stretch. Warming up correctly and stretching in between routines ensures that your heels are lubricated. Focus warm ups and stretching routines to the legs, feet, and heels to speed up the recovery process and at the same time condition your joints for your activities preventing additional injuries.
- Maintain a balanced diet. While exercise is a good way to lose weight, your diet plays a large part in this process. Come to think of it if we gain more calories than we burn then it could be all for nothing. Always stick to a balanced diet to ensure that your body receives the correct nutrients and energy without having to add too much weight. Exercise should always go hand in hand with a balanced diet. Also ensure that you double your water intake, fresh fruits and vegetables, and the amount of protein you eat. Avoid other food groups like flour, sugar, and especially salt since they contribute a lot to weight gain and may also trigger pain in the inflamed areas.
Losing weight while having plantar fasciitis is difficult. As with a lot of things in life, it’s always about determination. Never lose hope because it hurts or you are uncomfortable, remember that you are doing this to get rid of the pain and to solve your plantar fasciitis problems. Soon enough you should be able to engage in the activities that you were doing before you were struck with plantar fasciitis.