What is Atrophy of the Fat Pad?
13 July 2015
Atrophy of the Fat Pad, also known as Fat Pad Syndrome or Plantar Fat Pad Atrophy is a condition that affects the fat pads either at the ball of the foot or the foot heel. Your feet are protected by the cushioning pad on the sole of the foot and Atrophy of the Fat Pad refers to this pad breaking down, leaving the ball/heel of your foot and the bones found there unprotected from the impact of walking, running and standing.
Causes of Fat Pad Atrophy
The Fat Pad of your foot is similar to the fat all over your body in that your age will determine its condition, patients who are older are more common to suffer from Atrophy of the Fat Pad. Younger feet are not wholly immune with unsuitable shoes, especially high heels, likely to cause suffering. A pronounced pain when wearing these types of shoes is a sign of the foot Fat Pad breaking down.
Arches that are higher than usual or feet which Over Pronate are also at risk, as are any feet that are genetically predisposed to Fat Pad Atrophy. Diabetes sufferers should also be aware of an increased risk of a thinned fat pad, as can those who have elected for injection therapy for Plantar Fasciitis, where losing your Fat Pad can be an unfortunate side-effect. Morton’s Neuroma can also be an unhappy start to developing Fat Pad Atrophy as a secondary condition.
One Type of Fat Loss You Don’t Want
Atrophy of the Fat Pad is characterised, as you may imagine, by the pain it causes in the ball or heel of the foot. As your foot loses its natural protection, your feet will become more sensitive with every step you take, to the point that walking in barefoot will be noticeably more uncomfortable than walking in a cushioned shoe.
Calluses are also liable to form and thicken along the foot and you may experience the sensation of walking on a small stone or the more explicit feeling of being aware of bones meeting with your walking surface without a buffer.
Fixing Your Fat Pad
Treatment of Fat Pad Atrophy is generally approached with a prevention mentality. Injection therapy does exist but is not considered the most effective cure for heels and balls of feet suffering from a disappearing Fat Pad.
As with all foot conditions, a good shoe will lead to happier feet and any shoes that overly place pressure on the ball of the foot such as high heels should be avoided with this condition. Heels in general should not exceed more than an inch, and try your best to avoid walking barefoot or making your feet adjust to strange stances such as when on tip-toe or squatting.
Anti-inflammatory drugs might be prescribed by your doctor, and a definite aversion to sports that involve a lot of jumping or weight bearing is sure to benefit you feet.
Keeping Your Feet Fat
The best insoles for treatment of Fat Pad Atrophy should:
Please visit the Shoe Insoles website to see our full range of Insoles for Atrophy of the Fat Pad.