Osteoarthritis is considered the most common joint disorder among adults and it involves the development of various joint symptoms such as pain, inflammation and swelling. Osteoarthritis develops on the weight bearing joints in the body such as the neck, back, hips, knees and hands making excess weight a potential risk for developing the condition, sending ailing patients to their local Wesley Chapel chiropractor.

The direct link between obesity and osteoarthritis is still unclear; however, it was seen that increased weight placed on joints might increase the tension or stress in the weight bearing joint causing early breakdown of the cartilage. It was seen that adding an excess of 10 pounds on the weight might already increase the force on the weight bearing joints, particularly the knees by 60 pounds. This additional weight may place further stress n the knee joint during walking.

Statistics show that women who are overweight are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knee while overweight men have five times higher risks for developing such. Another study in Framingham has seen that overweight individuals in their mid years have higher chances of developing OA during their later life. People on the highest quintile of body weight also have an increased risk of 10 times for developing OA than people with the lowest quintiles of body weight. 

How Does Obesity Lead to Osteoarthritis?

The evidence of OA in overweight or obese individuals boils down to the effects of excessive weight on the joints. Normally, the joints include cartilage in between the articulating bones to protect the two bones from friction. The movement of joints, especially the weight bearing joints may be affected with increased weight. This excess in body weight can put so much pressure on the cartilage subsequently causing wear and tear injury. Injury to the cartilage can further lead to degeneration exposing the two bones of the joint to friction and eventually leading to inflammation and joint pains.

The role of obesity in the development of osteoarthritis is directly related to the excess weight placed on joints. However, certain studies have also seen the development of hand osteoarthritis among obese individuals implicating the role of circulating systemic factors as well.

The Role of Weight Loss on Osteoarthritis Prevention

Evidence suggests that even small amounts of weight loss can help reduce the risk for the development of OA. Weight loss is then seen as an important prevention for osteoarthritis especially in people who have other risks for the development of such. However, the benefits of weight loss were not only seen to reduce the risk for OA development. Weight loss was also seen to reverse the symptoms of those who already have osteoarthritis. Weight loss was found to reduce pain symptoms and has improved patients’ response to pain medications because of the relief of stress in the weight bearing joints.

Indeed, weight loss is an important element for the prevention and management of OA. Measures should be started to cut off the excessive weight through effective diet, regular exercise, and shift of lifestyle from sedentary to active to promote better joint health.