Improve Foot & Ankle Pain With New Year’s Resolutions!

With the New Year come new beginnings. We traditionally use the New Year to make new resolutions and goals. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. With that in mind, here is how simply shedding a few Holiday pounds can improve the health of your feet.

Increase in body weight = increase in foot pain:

General foot pains and fatigue come from either rapid or progressive weight gain. As your body weight increases your base of gait (the distance between your feet in a standing position) increases. This occurs as the body is trying to literally keep from falling over. The angle of your standing position also increases with an increase in body weight. In a “normal” body weight the feet should be externally rotated less than 15 degrees. With the increase in body weight the feet not only take a wider stance but rotate outward. This wider more angled stance causes a decrease in the arch of the foot (thus it is more common to have problems with flat feet in the obese population)

Losing body weight can help relieve the stress and strain on all body joints. The knees take the majority of the beating with increased body weight but the small joints of the feet and ankles can also feel the aches and pains. The ankle joint (due to the changes mentioned in the previous paragraph) begins to stretch and strain with the increased load. The cartilage of the ankle and all joints are less prone to wear and tear with decreased body weight. Think of the life of a tug boat. If the tug boat carries lighter loads it will more than likely last longer. If the tug boat is bogged down carrying massive amounts of extra weight it will need more repairs more often and eventually be outlived by the lighter-toting tug.

Many New Year’s goals involve getting more exercise. While more running and training can initially be hard on the feet, the reward of weight loss and over all well being out-weighs the risk of work out injury. Increasing exercise increases the blood flow to the heart and the organs, as well as the extremities. Increasing blood flow to the feet can help with minor aches and pains and injury.If You are a runner, orthotics are strongly recommended.

The best part of losing weight is enjoying a healthier lifestyle. Diabetes and heart disease, increasing in Americans, can in some cases be overcome or avoided by making lifestyle changes. Avoiding diabetes and heart disease helps avoid foot pathologies.As mentioned in previous blogs, foot diseases are often results of uncontrolled diabetes or heart disease. Neuropathy, gangrene, ulcerations and amputations are commonly found from diseases that come from obesity.

As you make your New Year’s goals, be intelligent about your lifestyle changes. Avoid dramatic dieting or exercise regimens. Always consult with Dr. Jeff Bowman before making any large lifestyle changes concerning the foot and ankle.

To start your New Year of with healthy foot screenings please contact Dr. Jeffrey N. Bowman of Houston Foot Specialists at (713) 467-8886 or visit our website for more information and online appointments at

2013 Jeff Bowman., All Rights Reserved

Category: Foot Health

Tags: ankle pain, Diabetes, Flat Feet, foot pain, Joint Pain, Orthotics, Running, Weight Loss