Obesity and Arthritis
Obesity, Excess Weight and Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the joints in the knees, hips and lower back. Over time, cartilage and bone of the joints wears away causing chronic pain.
Obesity Leads to Increased Risk of Arthritis
The symptoms of osteoarthritis – pain, stiffness and loss of mobility are worse in very overweight people as joints are put under greater load pressure. In fact, musculoskeletal problems, including osteoarthritis, are much more prevalent among obese patients, than among people of normal weight. Health studies show that obesity is a strong predictor for symptoms of osteoarthritis, especially in the knees.
Surgery For Arthritis
Losing weight reduces the stress put on the affected joints and can mean the difference between needing surgery or not. A weight loss of just 14 pounds means removing about 30 pounds of pressure. As it happens, many orthopedic surgeons will not perform joint replacement surgery on patients who are seriously overweight. Thus obese patients with osteoarthritis can often find themselves needing to lose weight without being able to take any physical exercise.