There has been a long association between joint pain and being overweight. Extra body weight can put more pressure on the joints which can have long term effects on the body. Cartilage can be worn down and your ligaments will be put under strain. This can cause pain in the joints that is constant and can affect your quality of life as it may prevent you doing even the most basic of day to day activities. The most common form of joint pain for people who are overweight is in the knees.
Joint Pain In The Knees
Whenever you take a step the knees can absorb anywhere between three and six times your body weight. If you are overweight then this can put your knees under a great deal of strain. This pressure can start to wear away the cartilage around the knees that prevent the bones from rubbing together. It can also put ligaments under strain and once these ligaments become damaged then it is not easy for them to heal themselves while the joints are still under pressure. A strained ligament can also increase the amount of pain that you will feel.
Can Joint Pain Associated With Weight Loss Occur Anywhere Else?
Some people who are overweight find that they suffer from swollen ankles. This swelling occurs because of the pressure on the joints and can be painful. Pain in the feet can make it even more difficult for you to get around easily than knee pain and if you are not active at all it can become harder to lose the weight that may relieve some of the pain in your ankles. People who are overweight may be more likely to retain fluid in their joints which can increase pain and make the joints swollen. This is more likely to occur in the ankles.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that occurs in the joints when the cartilage is worn down to such an extent that it is no longer able to prevent the bones from rubbing together. When the bones begin to rub together this can cause even more pain and can also cause the joints to become stiff. This disease is more likely to develop if the body has increased levels of a hormone called leptin. Chemicals that are released by extra body fat lead to an increased production of this hormone so not only can being overweight be a cause of osteoarthritis, it can also help to make the condition worse. Osteoarthritis is a condition that becomes more common as you get older but being overweight can mean that you are more likely to develop this condition earlier in your life.
Can Losing Weight Help With Joint Pain?
Losing weight can help relieve the pressure on the joints which can ease some of the pain that is experienced. However, it will not reverse the damage that has already been done to the joints. The longer a person has been overweight, the more damage is likely to have occurred to their joints. With regards to the joints in the knee, even just losing one pound can relieve the pressure on the knees by up to six pounds with every step. Losing any weight, even a small amount can reduce the amount of pain that is felt in joints all over the body. Exercising will help you to lose weight but this can be difficult if your movement is restricted due to the joint pain that you are experiencing. There are some forms of exercise that do not put any additional pressure on the joints such as swimming and cycling. Both of these activities will get your heart beating faster which means you will be burning calories when your are participating in them. You may be able to start off with these types of exercise and then increase the amount of activity that you can do as you lose weight and ease the pressure on the joints.
Joint pain can negatively impact on your life on a daily basis and in some cases this can develop into more serious conditions such as osteoarthritis. The longer a person remains overweight, the greater the damage that will be done to the joints. Even losing a small amount of weight can ease the pressure on your joints and make a big difference to your ability to move around more easily. Losing weight may be more difficult if you are suffering from joint pain but there are exercises that you can do which don’t put any pressure on the joints which can make losing weight easier.