Friday, 6 December 2013

Overweight makes arthritis worse

Overweight and obesity are linked to increased risk of developing osteoarthritis which is one of the most common painful joint conditions. Losing weight is an effective way of reducing the pain caused by arthritis.

What is osteoarthritis?

A joint is where two bones meet. Joints allow movement and flexibility of various parts of the body. Ends of the bones are covered by a smooth tissue called cartilage. Between the cartilage of two bones which forms a joint there is a small amount of lubricating fluid.

Damage of the joint cartilage by wear and tear causes osteoarthritis.

How obesity makes arthritis worse?

Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints can be aggravated by overweight. Knees and hips are the main weight bearing joints affected by osteoarthritis. Increase load caused by your body weight on these joints accelerates joint damage.

Studies have shown that osteoarthritis of knee joints is four times more common in obese people than who are of normal body weight.

Losing weight helps prevent osteoarthritis

Maintaining  healthy body weight (BMI between 18.5 and 25) is an effective way of preventing osteoarthritis of hips and knees. If you are overweight, try to lose some weight as extra burden placed on hip and knee joints can make the pain worse. Even a modest weight loss can make quite a difference.

Exercise helps control osteoarthritis

Regular exercise can help prevent the progression of joint damage. Physical activity helps strengthen the muscles around the affected joints. Swimming is ideal for the majority of people. Walking is simple and effective activity that help prevent osteoarthritis.