Joint Pain and Obesity

Joint Pain and ObesityObesity 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.

Your joint pain may be accompanied by:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Joint deformity
  • Tenderness and warmth
  • Inability to use the joint

It is important to consult your doctor should these additional symptoms arise.

Managing and Treating Joint Pain

Maintaining a healthy weight and reducing stress on joints is helpful in keeping your joints healthy and pain-free. However, if you maintain a sedentary lifestyle because movement and exercise is uncomfortable, you risk worsening your condition. Joints need movement to remain lubricated and healthy. The more sitting you do and the less work the joints are involved in the unhealthier they become.

If you have struggled with obesity for a prolonged period of time and you experience pain and swelling in your joints, your first step is weight reduction. A medically supervised weight loss program offers the advantage of rapid weight loss while still maintaining high quality nutrition. With a physician assisted program you can shed the excess weight and slowly work on getting your joints ready to do work again.

As your weight is reducing, you will find it easier to begin moving around. Many people find that they have more energy while they are losing weight which assists them becoming more active. During this time, movement will be beneficial not only to your weight loss but to your joints as well. However, it is important that you begin slowly so as not to further aggravate your pain or cause a potential injury. One way of doing this is through low impact activities. These are any activities that will increase your heart rate without putting additional pressure on your joints. These activities include:

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Yoga
  • Swimming

Your weight doctor may also prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants to help you as you begin these lifestyle changes.

Joint pain is a manageable condition that can be improved through weight loss. Dr. Primack and Dr. Ziltzer will aid in helping you adjust medications and providing advice on activity that you may need during your weight loss and wellness journey.

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