Arthritis and Obesity

Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis, is the most common form of arthritis and is experienced by millions of people world-wide. Osteoarthritis can develop inany joint in the body, but most commonly appears in the knees, hips, hands, neck and lower back. Osteoarthritis develops when the cartilage that protects the ends of your bones begins to wear down over time. There is no direct cure for osteoarthritis, but treatment and preventative measures can relieve pain and delay the development of the disease.

Symptoms of Arthritis

The symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly and grow more severe overtime. Symptoms of arthritis include:

• Pain in your joints after moving around

• Tenderness in the affected joint area when a light amount of pressure is applied

• Stiffness in the joint

• Loss of flexibility, or inability to move your joint to its full range of motion

The affected joint may become extra painful if a bone spur develops. This occurs when extra bits of bone break off and form hard lumps around the painful area. If you feel stiffness in your joints or notice swelling that lasts for several weeks you should contact your physician immediately.

Osteoarthritis often develops as a result of lifestyle factors. One of the biggest risk factors in the development of osteoarthritis is being obese or severely overweight. Being obese means that you are carrying an excess amount of weight around with you, which places extra stress on joints like your knees. Other risk factors that increase your risk for developing arthritis include:

  • Increased age
  • Being female
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Bone deformities

In certain situations, your occupation can also increase your risk of developing arthritis. Long term repetitive movements can cause increased stress on your joints, which could lead to the development of osteoarthritis.

Treatment for Arthritis

If you are experiencing pain from osteoarthritis in your joints, there are a variety of lifestyle remedies that may help relieve your pain. Increasing your exercise level and losing weight can help to minimize your discomfort. Weight loss surgery such as the lap band procedure can help you to lose weight and reduce the pain in your joints. In addition, it is important to rest your joints. If you are experiencing a great deal of pain, try reducing movement in that joint for 12 to 24 hours. In addition, hot and cold compresses and over-the counter pain creams can help stop the pain associated with arthritis.