Being one of the most common joint disorders, osteoarthritis affects hands, knees, and hips to a significant extent. Patients suffering from obesity end up putting excessive amounts of weight on their body which ultimately increases the stress on joints. This is why obese people are at a greater risk of breaking down their cartilage. According to a study, obese people put a force three to six times the body weight on their knees and body joint while walking or doing any activity. Needless to say, they end up suffering from joint disorders.
How Does Obesity Cause Osteoarthritis?
Being long-lasting in nature, osteoarthritis happens at body joints. This joint condition compels the cartilage on the bones to break down. As a result, the end of the bones at the joint start rubbing together. Osteoarthritis has the potential to cause a number of issues such as joint pain and stiffness. While this joint condition can occur in people of any age, older patients are more likely to suffer from this. Popularly known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis alone affected more than 30 million men and women in the United States of America.
The Relation Between Obesity and Osteoarthritis
Overweight or obese persons are at a greater risk of developing osteoarthritis. Patients having a BMI higher than 30 are more prone to suffer from this joint condition than those having a BMI below 30. While obesity is linked with many reasons such as low metabolism, excessive eating, and social conditions, osteoarthritis happens because of the weight on joints. Obese people can put a force that is three to six times their body weight. As the weight increases, this force also increases proportionately. As the patients keep putting more pressure on their joints, the joint keeps suffering from damage. Now this damage starts accumulating over time which ultimately leads to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by dislocated joints, torn cartilage, and ligament injuries as well.
According to research, obese patients are highly likely to develop bilateral knee osteoarthritis rather than unilateral ones. Obesity doesn’t only cause osteoarthritis but also can contribute to hyperlipidemia, hyperuricemia, and so on. It has also been observed that obese women are more prone to suffering from osteoarthritis than obese men.
How Can You Prevent Osteoarthritis Caused by Obesity?
The only way to prevent osteoarthritis caused by obesity is to track your weight and maintain a healthy BMI. You can keep an eye on your weight and be proactive in taking measures to lose weight. Some of the basic things that you can do include:
- Regular Exercise Along With Anti-inflammatory Diet: Besides doing exercises regularly, you should start an anti-inflammatory diet. Filled with veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, etc., this diet will help you to experience boosted energy levels and improve digestion as well.
- Quality Over Quantity: Maintaining obesity doesn’t mean that you have to eat less. You can still eat healthy food that promotes weight loss. You should avoid whole foods, sugary drinks, and processed foods.
- Medications: Consult your physician to know more about the kind of arthritis you are suffering from. It is best to review your medicines with your doctor at regular intervals.
- Fitness Tracker: You can also start using a fitness tracker to know more about the number of calories you are burning every day. This will help you keep track of the steps you have walked during a day. This helps you to target a better goal for the next day.
- Set Small Goals: As you begin your weight loss journey, it is crucial that you set small goals. Since small goals are easier to achieve, you will get a sense of fulfillment which will help you to do further exercises on the following day.
Benefits of Weight Loss
Losing bodyweight can help you to attain a number of benefits including reduced joint pain, improved joint function, boosted energy levels, and so on.
- Reduce Joint Pain: Once you start losing your body weight, you actually put less amount of pressure on your body and joints. This means that you will be able to tackle your joint pain better after combining diet and exercise.
- Improved Joint Function: Patients suffering from obesity should lose weight in order to improve their joint function to a significant extent. Since weight loss improves the comprehensive forces inside the joint, you will be able to experience a better functioning joint.
- Reduced Risks of Comorbid Conditions: Obesity along with diabetes and depression can cause a great amount of complication which might ultimately lead to cardiovascular disease. Losing weight will not help you to mitigate risks of osteoarthritis but also can help you prevent comorbid conditions.
- Sound Sleep and Boosted Energy: Weight loss can also improve your sleep. In addition, once you start losing weight, you will be able to boost your energy levels as well.