Carrying a Heavy Burden: How Weight Affects Your Joints

Does arthritis run in your family? Have you noticed pain in parts of your body, such as your back, hands, or knees? Could your weight be contributing to your pain? Even a few extra pounds can put added stress on your body, especially your joints. 

At Apple Medical Centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, our team specializes in treating chronic pain conditions, such as widespread joint pain and arthritis. Here’s what you need to know about your weight and the toll it can take on your body.

Understanding your joints

When it comes to weight problems and obesity, most people focus on diabetes and heart disease. But, carrying excess weight can also put a significant amount of strain on your joints. 

You have 250-350 joints in your body, areas where two or more bones come together. When someone has joint pain, it's often due to osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that develops due to wear and tear on a joint. You can develop arthritis in any joint, but it often affects the knees, hands, neck, and lower back

Osteoarthritis is also very common in weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, and feet.

How weight impacts your joints

Being overweight can increase inflammation and pressure in and around your joints, which can lead to osteoarthritis.

Pressure

Your weight-bearing joints absorb pressure whenever you walk. For every extra pound you carry, you can add an additional four pounds of pressure on these joints, especially your knees. You may think it doesn’t matter unless you’re significantly overweight, but even 10 extra pounds can increase the pressure on your knees by 30-60 pounds. And when you consider the number of steps you take each day or the stairs you climb, this extra strain on your joints can really add up.

Inflammation

In addition to putting added stress on your joints, the fat cells can cause inflammation. Inflammation can lead to pain, stiffness, and joint degeneration.

Fortunately, losing weight, even small amounts, can significantly reduce strain and inflammation. If you’re overweight, the health specialists at Apple Medical Centers can give you guidance on losing weight. And if you have joint pain, they can help you get relief.

To learn more about how weight can affect your joints, or to find pain relief, book an appointment online or over the phone with Apple Medical Centers today.

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