Hand Holding a Heel in PainIt’s incredible how a few extra pounds can wreak havoc on the body. Increased weight can affect a person’s heart, increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, and take a toll on the bones and joints. If you are overweight, it’s also likely that you will experience foot pain—and especially heel pain— at some point in your life.

Painful Heel Conditions Caused by Excess Weight

Your weight may play a role in your heel pain if you have suffered:

  • Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a major cause of heel pain nationwide, and being overweight can exacerbate the problem. The added pressure of extra pounds can cause flat feet, placing extra strain on the plantar fascia and making walking or standing extremely painful.
  • Wounds or ulcers. The soles of your feet have a healthy layer of fat to absorb the impact of your steps, but excess weight compresses the padding on the heel and forefoot. Less cushioning between the heel bone and your shoes may cause friction wounds, while a lack of moisture from compressed sweat glands can increase the risk of heel fissures.
  • Inflammation. Increased weight can wear down the protective tissues of the joints, causing inflammation that results in pain in the lower limbs. Joint pain in the knees and ankles is often worse in obese patients, while overweight patients may inflame the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel due to excessive walking or standing.

Many cases of heel pain can be treated without surgery. The foot specialists at Greater Washington Advanced Podiatry can create custom orthotics to relieve the pressure on your heel and support the foot, as well as advise you on footwear choices to prevent injuries and maintain proper foot alignment.

If you are suffering pain in your feet or ankles, we offer free initial consultations and create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. Simply fill out our online contact form or call us at (301) 515-FEET to set up your first visit.