Can weight gain cause plantar fasciitis?

Can weight gain cause plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick celery like structure that connects the heel to the ball of the foot like a rubber strap.  It is an important structure in the stability of the foot and also helps with the heel to toe motion of walking.

One of the most common problems affecting people of all ages is plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the plantar fascia.  This can occur at the heel region of the foot or in the arch area of the foot depending on the area of greatest stress.  The pain is mainly first steps in the morning which improves after a few minutes but can also get aggravated with increasing walking or standing. 


The main cause of plantar fasciitis is tightness of the Achilles’ tendon and calf muscle which puts additional stress on the foot.  Other common causes are flat feet and over flexible arches.

One factor that is not commonly considered but can be a major factor is weight gain.  Each pound of weight equates to 12 pounds of weight on the foot.  For example if you have recently put on 10 pounds, you are adding 120 pounds of additional weight stress to the foot. 

Ten pounds may not seem like much but 120 pounds of additional stress on the foot can be the straw that breaks the camels back.  


Although foot pain is not commonly associated with weight gain, the amount of additional weight carried can be a strain on the arch and stretch the plantar fascia causing plantar fasciitis. 

So what can you do?  In most cases people need to get rid of the plantar fasciitis to then be able to lose weight.  Exercise bike and swimming are great for weight loss. 

Also nutrition and proper eating are great for weight loss.  Stretching the calf and Achilles by standing on a slant board can help reduce strain on the arch.  Wearing insoles to support the arch or our patented arch support socks from Archtek can also reduce strain on the fascia. 

The important thing is to not wait for the fasciitis to resolve to begin to improve your weight and body.  Do it together.  Stretch, support and low strain exercise can work to reduce the plantar fasciitis and also help improve your weight gain issues.