Losing excess body fat might be the simplest, smartest way to lower your risk of developing painful heel spurs. These calcium deposits can form when strain, stress, and pressure bear down on your feet over a long period of time.

If you walk a mile—and you have an average weight—you will nevertheless exert 60 tons of pressure on your feet during that interval! If you weigh more, you will obviously exert yet more pressure. Thus, podiatrists, like the Pennsylvania foot care team here at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates, urge at-risk patients to do what they can to eliminate excess weight to reduce the carrying burden on their feet.

Losing weight is easier said than done for many people. Some new research out of the University of San Diego suggests that people who reduce their consumption of sugar— both high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar—may have better long-term success at weight management. It’s important to talk to your physician to determine what approach might work best, given your metabolic history, habits, and access to exercise.

Beyond losing weight, here are a few other methods you can use to protect your feet, or at least reduce the burden on them:

  • If you work at a job that requires you to stand whole day, talk to your boss about shifting your responsibilities to reduce this common source of stress.
  • The strategic use of ice packs, anti-inflammatory medications, stretching, and exercises—done under the supervision of your physician or podiatrist—can often help, especially if you catch the problem early on.
  • More “intense” procedures to alleviate or prevent heel spurs include cortisone injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, night splints, and surgery on the plantar fascia.

Above all else, be an informed patient. Research and understand all your medical conditions. Talk to the friendly, board-certified podiatrists here at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates about your options. Call our Phoenixville foot clinic at 610-933-8644 today to make an appointment.