How Weight Affects Arthritis

How does your weight affect your osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease of the spine, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, or gout?

Besides just sheer pressure (for every extra pound of weight we carry, our knees feel an extra 4 pounds of force), there’s another layer here. Why does excess weight worsen arthritis of the hand and wrist?  We don’t walk around on our hands all day, after all.

We now understand that fat cells are very powerful endocrine organs in themselves.  Fat cells create and release inflammatory compounds which can cause and/or worsen all kinds of arthritis.  That’s why people who are overweight or obese have a far greater risk of developing arthritis.  And once arthritis is established, the excess weight places that person at risk for long term joint damage – arthritis is far more than just a pain in the neck.

Both obesity and chronic musculoskeletal pain each pose potential barriers to treating the other.  In order to improve each of these chronic diseases, we need to target both for treatment – which is exactly what we do at Oahu Spine and Rehab and OSR Weight Management, in Kailua!

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