You depend on your feet throughout your life. And the pressure comes on the protective fat cushion around the bones of the feet. That preserves your feet from the ground strike while walking.
With age, the natural fat of the bottom of the foot decreases. It’s called fat pad atrophy, a common issue in both men and women. It can cause pain and discomfort on the ball of the foot while walking especially resists women to walk on high heels. James Mahoney, an associate professor of podiatry at Des Moines University in Iowa says “Many patients say, 'I thought it was part of being old,’ but the pain in your feet is not normal, regardless of your age.”
What is Fat Pad Atrophy
Fat pad Atrophy is the condition in which the Padding gets thin and it endangers the delicate connective tissue components to stretch and the pressure establishes inflammation and micro-injury.
Atrophy of the fatty cushion on the plantar side, whether the heel or the forefoot, is gaining the attention of foot and ankle surgeons. Treatments like “cushioning,” “filler” or “restoration” are common for atrophy issues. The basic treatments for Loss of Padding on Bottom of Feet are custom-molded foot orthoses with padding, shoes equipped with padding and support, and heel cups or cushioned socks to help minimize the effect of ground strike while walking. But most people don’t like padding as orthotics can’t be used in most sandals.
The augmentation or restoration of the padding is of three types
The use of an allograft.
Injectable fillers provide a quick, easy, and intermediate-term solution with less risk of side effects.
Auto lipo transplantation is a technique in which the patient’s own fat cells is
Fat pad atrophy vs Plantar fasciitis
During walk pressure on the heel is equal to 2.5 times the weight of your body when it strikes. That causes pain, stress, and fractures of the calcaneus.
We often take atrophy of the thickness of the fatty issues like plantar fasciitis while actually, it’s a loss of shock absorbency of the heel. Although some people have heels fat pad syndrome at the same time, to understand the difference between both the situations would help a lot.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heels pain. It implies inflammation of a thick band of tissue that goes on across the bottom of your foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It’s a painful issue caused by the erosion of the arch of the foot, A healthy arch absorbs and distributes the effect of physical activity appropriately. While a flat, damaged, or overused arch starts to deteriorate and cause fat pad syndrome. a symptom of the plantar fascia is
Severe pain in the front of the heels and instep.
That pain is usually severe in the morning
That Pain recovers with rest and stretching
Heel Pad Syndrome
When the padding lessens down and isn’t able to cushion the bones effectively, walking and moving becomes very painful. Both plantar fasciitis and heel pad syndrome causes pain in the heels, but the symptoms of heel fat pad syndrome are a bit different:
The ache that is like a bruise, not so sharp and is felt in the middle of your heel.
Pain that you feel by pressing the middle of your heel pad with your finger
Foot ache that gets worse while walking on a hard surface
The common feature of plantar fascia and heel pad syndrome is, both get worse by weight gain and age.
What causes loss of Padding on the bottom of the feet
A healthy fatty layer is 1 to 2 cm thick. Patients with atrophy measure it 1 cm and feel like they are almost walking on the bone.
Rheumatological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and lupus, which influence the connective tissues in the feet may cause atrophy of the plantar fatty substance.
Obesity and excessive use of high-heeled shoes also increases the risk of plantar foot pad atrophy
Runners with high arches and patients having corticosteroid injections for foot pain can suffer from the problem
Straighten your calves, Achilles tendon, to get relief. Perform exercises that give your lower leg and foot muscle strength and stabilize your ankle, relieve pain, and stop it back. Ice your heels after exercise.
Biomechanically engineered Shoes and insoles for extra cushioning and arch support and orthotics shoes and custom-molded foot orthoses with padding are highly recommended for the plantar fascia.
Tape your heels and decrease the activities that can affect you until the fat pad recovers fully. Use the ergonomic mat to stand for a long time.