Pain in the lower extremities – feet, ankle, knees and hips – contributes to both poor physical function and a reduced quality of life in obese children, according to a new study. Obese children with lower extremity pain have worse physical function an poorer psychological health than obese children lower extremity pain.
Obese children show diminished function, reduced psychosocial health (emotion, social and school functioning), and lower physical fitness compared with healthy-weight peers. For these children, pain in the lower extremities is more common than pain in the upper extremities and back. However, it remains unclear whether pain interferes with physical fitness or physical activity levels in obese children.
The researchers examined the medical charts of 175 obese children; of those, 51 reported lower extremity pain while 124 had no pain. The medical records included data on age, sex, race, puberty stage, lower extremity pain, physical functions, psychosocial health and physical fitness.
Although poor physical fitness was not related to having pain, children who reported lower extremity pain scored lower on physical function and psychosocial health than those who felt no pain. In addition, as the severity of obesity increased, there was a progressive decline in physical function, psychosocial health and fitness scores among those who reported lower extremity pain.
The authors conclude: “Our findings support the importance of investigating lower extremity pain as part of the evaluation and management of obese children. Lower extremity pain may play a role in reduced compliance with weight management programs, exercise regimes, or physical activity recommendations for obese children.”
If you are suffering from a foot problems, the podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.