This Article is About
excess body weight
knee osteoarthritis
knee joints
umbrella term
american adults
older adults
excess weight
wear and tear
The Obesity - Arthritis Link: Does Your Weight Matter To Your Joints?
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The Obesity  -  arthritis Link: Does Your Weight Matter to Your Joints?

Arthritis is the leading cause of both chronic and acute pain and disability among American adults. Typically thought of as a single disease, arthritis is actually an umbrella term for more than one hundred different variations of the disease. It is so prevalent that more than eighty percent of adults have some form of it or know someone who does.

The most common type of arthritis is called osteoarthritis often referred to as wear and tear arthritis. While it can strike anybody at any time, there are three groups that have this particular type of arthritis in higher numbers than any others. Those groups include women, Hispanics and African Americans. Unfortunately, the one thing those three groups have in common is there high rates of inactivity. Women, in particular, are more than two times as likely to be sedentary as a man.

Every pound of excess body weight that you are carrying increases the risk of developing arthritis because it has a direct impact on the joints. Ten pounds of excess weight adds thirty to sixty pounds of additional force on the knee joints alone with every step you take. That excess force adds up to risk of developing knee osteoarthritis that are four to five times higher for obese people. That condition is also more likely to start before the age of forty in inactive, overweight people. Previously, most forms of arthritis was only seen in older adults. Women can reduce their risk by more than thirty percent if they lose enough weight to be listed as overweight as opposed to obese and will see an even greater reduction in risk if they get to a normal weight. But, weight should not be thought of as the only risk factor. Many thin people develop osteoarthritis, mainly because they are inactive.

Inactivity is perhaps a bigger risk factor than weight especially for those who have been warned that they are developing or are at risk of developing osteoarthritis. The pain is enough to make many people think that they should stop exercising or even walking when most doctors recommend the opposite. For some, walking or other light exercise can reduce the pain and swelling that they are seeing. For others, swimming can be a tolerable form of exercise, even during flare ups.

Left unchecked, osteoarthritis as well as other forms of the disease may lead to a need for joint replacement surgery, especially knee and/or hip replacement.


Street Talk

This makes sense. Unless a person has experienced the pain of Arthritis they just can not appreciate articles like this!

Reply
  about 9 years ago

I picked my friend's brain for this one. She has had rhematoid arthritis since she was very young.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Excellent article Amie!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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