Can Your Weight Impact Your Joint Health?

Experiencing joint pain is a struggle, especially when the discomfort is persistent. It can impact your ability to live your life to the fullest and prevent you from doing the things you love. Simple tasks like walking through a grocery store or playing with your pet can be hindered when joint pain is chronic and severe.

While there are a number of reasons that your joints may be causing you discomfort, some studies indicate that weight may be one of the factors that impact bone and joint health. If you’ve been wondering whether your weight is potentially worsening or contributing to your pain, take a look below as we discuss the possibility of its impact on the health of your joints.

Understanding the Basics of Joint Pain

Many are familiar with the discomfort of joint pain, but it is often a surprise for them to learn that this pain can come from different sources and not just the joints themselves. Certain causes of joint pain are directly related to the surrounding muscle, cartilage, tendon, nerves, or ligaments, or even a combination of these factors. Inflammation is often attributed to joint pain, as well, which can worsen over time with some disorders such as osteoarthritis. Other common causes of joint pain include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout

Joint pain can vary in severity, ranging from mild to intense depending on the circumstance or cause. Pain that comes from a chronic disorder such as arthritis may be different from the discomfort from temporary conditions such as tendinitis. It can often be difficult to identify what condition you are suffering from, but an experienced specialist may be able to help.

Connections Between Weight and Joint Pain

Many physicians believe that certain symptoms of joint pain can be tied to an individual’s weight, stating that patients who are obese or overweight may experience joint pain more frequently because of the pressure that their weight puts on their bones and muscles. Joints help keep the body flexible, allowing you to move, and putting too much pressure on them can prevent mobility and create lasting discomfort.

Doctors often note that chronic pain in or around the knees is particularly common among individuals of a higher weight. Due to the frequency with which our knees assist us when standing, walking, or even sitting, the added pressure of more weight on the body can impact the strength of the joints and reduce overall mobility.

Studies have indicated that other areas of the body, including the spine, hips, and ankles, may also be impacted by weight. Pain along the spine may relate to the degeneration of the intervertebral discs, which occurs with age but can occasionally accelerate in overweight individuals, causing intense discomfort and poor mobility.

Treatments for Chronic Joint Pain

According to studies conducted by Harvard Medicine, persistent and severe joint pain is common among those of a higher weight. Luckily, there are a variety of treatment options available.

Many doctors recommend that their patients lose weight before trying other methods of treatment, and while this has helped some overweight individuals find relief, it can prevent those living with pain not caused by weight from getting the help they need when they need it. Each case of joint pain is unique to the individual, of course, and some patients may need to try multiple methods before identifying one that works best for them.

Fortunately, many modern therapies and treatments exist to allow individuals with joint pain to experience long-term relief. Non-surgical options, such as epidural steroid injections and physical therapy, have been known to successfully reduce the severity of joint pain in patients who suffered from discomfort and inflammation in their hands, wrists, spine, and knees.

Other pain-relieving options are surgical, used often for those who have attempted noninvasive treatments in the past with no success or significant change in their discomfort. Many doctors now have minimally invasive techniques that allow them to provide long-term relief while reducing the length of time the patient will spend in recovery.

Treat Your Joint Pain with the Qualified Specialists at OLSS

If you have begun to experience pain or inflammation in your joints, it may be time to consult an experienced medical professional to learn more about how you can treat it. Knowing where to start can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to dealing with chronic pain, but the trusted specialists at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery have years of experience with patients just like you, and they’re here to help.

When you’re ready to start seeing an improvement in your joint health, give us a call at (855) 853-6542 or reach out to us online to learn about scheduling a free consultation today.