As the prevalence of obesity rises, it is increasingly important to understand its effect on musculoskeletal health. Obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis, which affects millions of people around the world and contributes to disability and rising medical costs.
It increases the risk for developing chronic diseases such as
- heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
But did you know that obesity also increases your risk for developing joint problems and bone diseases?
Being over weight is considered a major health problem itself but how it affects your joints requires more concern. Here are a few adverse effects that obesity has on your bones and joints
One of the major health problems associated with obesity is chronic pain syndrome in joints. This is a condition that results in long-term, persistent pain in one or more joints. The pain may be mild to severe, and it can significantly reduce quality of life.
There are several factors that contribute to chronic pain syndrome in joints, including inflammation, damage to the joint tissues, and changes in the way the brain processes pain signals. Obesity is a major risk factor for all of these issues, which is why it can lead to chronic pain syndrome.
Wear and tear of joints
The excessive weight bearing that is caused by obesity can lead to wear and tear of the joints. This is because the added stress on the joints can cause them to deteriorate over time. In addition, the added weight can also lead to joint pain and arthritis.
Obesity also accelerates the natural loss of cartilage in the joints. This makes it important to seek treatment early on if you are obese, as your weight can cause big problems down the line.
Increased risk for fractures and breaks
Obesity can increase the risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become so weak that they break easily. In other words bones become brittle and the chances of fractures increase greatly. This is because being obese can cause a decrease in bone mineral density over time. In fact, obesity may even cause a decrease in bone mineral density at a faster pace than aging. Your body becomes prone to conditions like bone reabsorption and compression, stress, and linear fractures become
Not only does obesity increase the risk for these conditions, it also makes them more severe and difficult to treat. This is because of the added pressure that extra weight puts on your joints and bones.
Spinal problems are common in people who are obese, because the excess weight can cause neck and back pain.
Spinal compression is a major issue for obese people, who often have to deal with nerve root pain or sciatica. The added stress on the spine caused by obesity can also lead to pinched nerves, herniated discs, and can even cause you to develop scoliosis.
Not only that but the added stress of obesity on the joints in the spine can also lead to:
Spondylosis: this issue is characterized by degeneration that causes stiffness and pain throughout the back region.
Reduction in range of motion
One of the main ways in which obesity can adversely affect the joints is by causing a reduction in range of motion. This is because the excess weight can put stress on the joints, leading to inflammation and damage over time. This can cause the joints to become stiff and limit your range of motion. In severe cases, obesity can even lead to joint replacement surgery.
Circulatory dysfunction is a common problem for people who are suffering from obesity. This means that the blood flow to the different areas of the body is disrupted and doesn’t work properly. The excess weight can put stress on your heart and blood vessels, this leads to compromised blood circulation to bones which makes them weak since no available minerals and nutrients are present.
Consult a doctor
If you’re worried about your bone health, it’s a good idea to visit the doctor as well. A proper diagnosis of the issues you are experiencing is vital for developing a treatment plan. You can visit a GP or a specialist depending on your circumstances and condition to determine if there is any orthopedic issue. In addition, it is necessary to visit back specialists whenever needed because they might have some suggestions that could be helpful for you.