Relationship between obesity and arthritis
Doctors believe that extra weight puts some extra strain on the body which results in complications like pain in joint called arthritis. Dr. Philip A. Kern, MD, University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, stated “one of the major side effects of obesity epidemic is a tremendous amount of arthritis”. A study stated that the risk of getting arthritis is 60% higher in over- weight people when compared to those who maintain a healthy body weight.
Obesity-related arthritis epidemic is supposed to be a severe problem. Obesity increases stress on the body which possibly leads to the breakdown of cartilage resulting in joint and bone-related problems. Being over-weight or obesity can cause increased pressure on the body which increases the wear and tear on the joints and leads to hip and knee replacements as ultimate treatments. Read about treatment of arthritis.
A survey states that about 68% of all Americans are considered to be overweight or might suffer from obesity in their lifetime. Another survey says that overweight women have nearly 4 times the risk of knee osteoarthritis and overweight men are at about 5 times greater risk of developing arthritis.
Reducing excess weight not only trims down the risk of arthritis but also lowers the chances of occurrence of other obesity-related diseases.
What are the benefits of weight loss in obese people?
Key benefits of weight loss are:
- Lowering the pressure on joints
- Reducing pain and inflammation in the body tissues
- Eases high cholesterol levels and maintains blood pressure
- Improves body functions and prevents sleep apnea
- Lowering obesity reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and even cancer (in some cases), etc.
Arthritis and weight loss: What you can do to stay healthy?
There is no secret tip to lose weight but to only push your body off limits. A structured plan can be made to initiate the process of weight loss. A physical therapist can help in planning personalized physical activity and a dietitian or nutritionist can suggest a healthy eating approach to reduce weight.
Physical therapists suggest bone and muscle strengthening exercises such as brisk walking, running, or jogging, playing tennis, doing aerobic exercises, dancing or doing yoga, pilates, or tai chi, swimming, etc. Such physical activities promote healthy joints and healthy body. Doctors say that lowering the load on joints not only protects the joints from strain or discomfort but prevents arthritis and other chronic joint disorders.
How to prevent pain and damage to the joints?
Some common suggestions to prevent pain and damage to the joints are:
- shoes should be replaced regularly for better foot support
- doctors recommend wearing orthotics if a person has foot problems
- correct posture while walking and running
- proper rest should be taken when needed
- build up workout plan according to the body
- low calories diet is also recommended
Rheumatoid arthritis weight loss: What process should be followed?
Earlier, evidences were found that 10% weight loss can result in the reduction of about 50% pain and can also lead to an improved movement in people with arthritis. This study was recently modified and it was stated that 20% weight loss leads to an additional 25% in reduction in pain and enhanced physical function.
It is easier for young people to add exercises and other physical activities to their routine to reduce weight and arthritis risk. Researchers have also stated that arthritis weight loss might not be a very good idea for old age people as increased physical activity might elevate the risk of bone loss or bone fractures. Due to this, the approach to manage arthritis should be different in older people than in young people. Sometimes, drug therapy might also be recommended during weight maintenance phase of the treatment. Many doctors recommend weight loss as the first prescribed treatment procedure to reduce arthritis and its symptoms.