Saturday, 12 October 2013

Fat mass – not BMI – is a primary cause of foot pain

Butterworth Fat mass 125Fat mass can be an indicator of foot pain, independent of fat-free mass in the body, a recent study has found.

The study examined 51 participants with a range of body weight levels over 3 years. It was conducted by researchers including Dr Donna UrquhartProf Flavia Cicuttini, and A/Prof Anita Wluka from the DEPM's Musculoskeletal Unit.

It concluded that people with a higher “fat mass” – the amount of fat cells stored in the body – were more likely to suffer from foot pain.

Body mass index (BMI,) on the other hand, was not shown to be a significant predictor of foot pain. BMI is a way of calculating body shape, which does not differentiate between fat and fat-free forms of mass, such as muscle, and larger body structures that come from height.

The authors of the study speculate that this may mean that foot pain is likely to be related to the metabolic process and adipose tissue (which is what fat is made up of,) rather than simply being a symptom of too much strain.

24% of adults over the age of 45 suffer frequent foot pain, with a relatively high number of overweight adolescents also being affected.

The ailment can create difficulties with balance and walking, general daily activities, and overall quality of life.

The study recommended weight loss, exercise and counselling methods as a way to reduce foot pain.

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