ARTHRITIS AND OBESITY

Arthritis is a condition with inflammation of one or more joints. This results from break-down of cartilage that protects the joint endings leading to rubbing of the joint endings against each other causing pain, tenderness, difficulty in movement, swelling, etc.

Obesity is termed when one’s body mass index is more than 27.5.

Association between arthritis and obesity:

Arthritis and obesity are linked together with a high risk of arthritis in individuals with obesity or overweight.

Most common joints, that are affected are knee, hip, spine but other joints such as fingers, elbows, etc. are also affected.

Obesity affects joints by two factors:

  1. Stress of one’s own weight on weight bearing joints such as knee, hip and spine.
  2. Release of chemicals from increased fat tissue deposit in the body leading to the risk of inflammation of the joints.

These factors play a major role in increasing chances of arthritis as well as progression of arthritis in individuals who are already diagnosed.

Other effects of obesity on arthritis are decreased consideration of surgery for treatment such as arthroplasty due to complications and more time duration of recovery than usual because of constant pressure on joints due to the weight.

Treatment options along with preventive measures for arthritis include

  • primarily weight loss with healthy diet
  • small, regular meals at frequent intervals, disciplined and timely meals
  • regular exercises for 30-45 minutes a day for at least 4-5 days a week.
  • Preferable exercises are cycling, swimming, etc. that help in avoiding weight bearing on knees, hips.

References:

https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/comorbidities/obesity-arthritis/fat-and-arthritis.php

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4613154/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788203/

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/arthritis-an-overview/

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2012/0101/p49.html

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350777

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/osteoarthritis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351930

-Dr. Divya Teja Pasupuleti