Obesity and Joint Pain
Obesity is among the leading causes of immobility in adults. An accumulation of excess body weight increases pressure on the joints, especially the hips, knees and ankles. Over time, excess weight can cause cartilage in these joints to wear down, and this may lead to severe pain and difficulty walking.
Arthritis is a chronic condition caused by inflammation in the joints. It can develop at any joint in the body, including the ankles and knees, the hips, the wrists or elbows. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, sometimes called wear-and-tear arthritis.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- Aching and soreness in the joints, especially during and following movement
- Pain following long periods of inactivity
- Stiffness in the joints following rest, such as in the morning
- Swelling of the joints
- Bony growths protruding from the joint
Causes of Osteoarthritis
Joints are lined with a protective substance called cartilage that prevents bones from rubbing against each-other as you move. This allows your movement to be easy and pain-free. As cartilage wears down, bones begin to grind on one another. When severe, this can make using that joint extremely painful and may lead to immobility.
Inflammation in the joints accelerates the wear on cartilage and makes it more likely that bones will rub against one another.
Factors that increase your risk for osteoarthritis include:
- Advanced age
- Injury or trauma
Osteoarthritis commonly develops with age, but it is not a symptom of aging. Arthritis a chronic disease, and should never be accepted as a natural element of aging.
Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Joint pain is frequently addressed through a combination of lifestyle changes, medication and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgical joint replacement may be required.
Losing weight will often alleviate joint pain, especially joint pain that develops in the knees and ankles. Even losing a small amount of weight helps to alleviate the pressure on the joints, and can help reduce swelling and joint pain.
Additional lifestyle changes that may reduce joint pain include:
- Making dietary changes to reduce swelling in the body
- Participating in regular low-impact activity
- Stretching regularly
- Avoiding standing or sitting for an extensive period of time
Many people also find some relief from joint pain by wearing supportive gear, such as knee or wrist braces. This sort of protective gear is designed to alleviate pressure on the joints, thus helping to reduce pain.
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a medical condition that prevents the body from properly processing blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is highly associated with excess weight and afflicts many obese people, putting them at risk of disabling symptoms and complications.
Because type 2 diabetes and its precursors are closely tied to obesity, weight loss is often all that is needed to improve or resolve them. Even a moderate amount of weight loss can help many people reduce diabetes medications and even put the disease into remission.
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that occurs when the airway is temporarily obstructed during sleep, causing disruptions in breathing. These interruptions can last a few seconds at a time or more than a minute, and may occur between 5-30 times over the course of an hour. Breathing often resumes with loud snoring choking or gasping sound, which can further interrupt sleep.
In small quantities, fat is useful to our health. Unfortunately, we often eat more fat than necessary for benefits like nutrient absorption and joint protection. Our bodies do what they can to push excess fat into storage, leading to weight gain, but often the excess fat will also build-up in the blood stream.
This may lead to unhealthy blood levels of fats or lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides . When this occurs, the condition is known as hyperlipidemia.
Understanding Metabolic Syndrome
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for a series of health problems. One common obesity-related condition is metabolic syndrome.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is an umbrella term for a collection of medical conditions that commonly develop in association with obesity. There are five primary risk factors considered in metabolic syndrome. If at least three of them occur together, the condition is diagnosed.
Blood pressure measures the force of blood against the walls of the arteries as the heart beats. If this pressure remains consistently high, this can cause a number of health issues. According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 1 in 3 adults in the US have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.
People who have hypertension often experience few or no symptoms, but over time, their bodies may still suffer harmful effects, including heart, blood vessel and kidney damage.
Understanding Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a chronic condition resulting in the contents of the stomach flowing back up and irritating the esophagus. Normally, a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) would prevent anything from returning up through the esophagus, but due to factors such as obesity, pregnancy or smoking, the LES may become weakened and unable to properly block the stomach’s content.ay.
Obesity and Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. Every year, about 600,000 Americans die from heart disease. That is one death every minute related to heart disease. If you are overweight or obese, you are at higher risk of developing heart disease. Losing weight is one of the more effective ways of reducing that risk.
Joint Pain and Obesity
Obesity and excessive weight can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your body. Carrying extra weight makes it more difficult to move around and accelerates the wear on your joints and your spine. Extra weight makes it difficult to perform simple tasks that rely on your joints for movement such as squatting, running or climbing stairs. It can also lead to joint disorders such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.