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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

Obesity and Arthritis

Arthritis is a chronic condition caused by the inflammation in the joints. It can develop at any joint in the body, including the ankles , the  knees, the hips, the wrists or elbows. Most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Obesity does not directly cause osteoarthritis, but it increases the amount of stress that the weight-bearing joints must carry and contributes to joint wear and tear.

 Joints are lined with a protective substance called cartilage that prevents bones from rubbing against each-other as  we  move.  As cartilage wears down, bones begin to grind on one another.  Obesity  is linked to osteoarthritis. The more weight  that’s  put on a joint, the more stressed the joint becomes, and the more likely it will wear down and be damaged.


Obesity makes you more vulnerable to bone disease:

If someone falls in obese category (BMI more than 30 ) there is 60% more chance of developing joint pain than a person with normal BMI. Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees. So people who are obese are at higher risk of developing arthritis.

Obesity affects bone health

Osteoarthritis  and Obesity:

Osteoarthritis is normally a disorder of elders. But the main concern is increase in incidence of osteoarthritis in youngers and main reason for this is obesity. Thanks to our own life style and lots of junk foods.People with a high body mass index who are overweight or obese often get arthritis at a younger age.It affects mainly the weight bearing joint like knee and hip. Obesity is also suspected to play a role in worsening inflammation, which is a major component of joint pain. In addition there are excessive fat tissues that produce hormones and other factors that affect the articular or joint cartilage metabolism and cause inflammation of the joints giving rise to joint pathology. Leptin is one of the hormones associated with obesity induced knee osteoarthritis.

How to prevent arthritis?

Best way to reduce weight is doing proper exercises and taking healthy diet.  Losing weight may not reverse the damage that has been done to a joint, but research has shown that even moderate weight loss can have a dramatic effect on the relief of joint pain. But if joint destruction is severe enough limiting daily activities joint replacement is the correct alternative.