How Does Obesity Contribute to Chronic Pain?

Chronic Pain, Blog, / By Winsen Citra

Obesity and chronic pain are both major health concerns that have been on the rise in recent years. In the last few years, research has shown growing evidence of a connection between the two. A research article published in 2015 shows how obesity contribute to chronic pain. It also identified obesity as the cause of greater physical dysfunction in people with chronic pain.

What Are Some Ways Obesity Contribute to Chronic Pain?

Fat Cells Cause Inflammation

We all know that excess weight is usually stored as fat cells. What scientists recently discovered is that fat cells release a chemical that causes inflammation in our body. This chemical is usually useful in fighting off an attack on our body by foreign cells or bacterias. However, what makes this problematic is the fat cells also release these chemicals when we consume a high calorie diet. This means that our body is filled with these chemicals even though there is no attack. Inflammation and pain is the resulting symptom that we feel as a result.

Increased joint forces in obesity
Obesity causes increased forces in the joints

Increased Forces on Joints and Spine

The joints in our body act as force absorption and distribution device as we walk, run, jump, and move around. If our body weight increases, it is only natural the the forces that go around these joints also increase. This leads to a greater defective change in our joints and cartilages. Early onset of osteoarthritis is the end result of this.

Another body part that is affected by increased body weight is the spinal discs. obese individuals exert significantly greater disk compression force while lifting compared to normal weight individuals, and there are strong links to obesity and degenerative disc disorder.

Low Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D appear to be more common in obese people, and poor skeletal mineralization due to vitamin D deficiency may lead to complaints of achiness in the joints and muscles including knee osteoarthritis.

What to do?

The answer to this question is to simply lose weight. There are studies that have says you chances of getting osteoarthritis is reduced by about 50% if you lose as little as 5 kg. How do you lose weight, you might ask. Though there are many methods to lose weight quick that you can find online, we find that the surest way to lose weight is the combination of a healthy diet and exercise. 30 minutes of exercise, three to five times a week is the recommended amount. This should encompass stretching, resistance, and aerobic exercises.
If you’re really at a loss on how to start losing weight, getting a professional to help you may help get you started on the right track while reducing your chances of getting injured. Our friends at Elevate 360 are the perfect partner in your transformation journey, so do contact them for more information.As always, we hope that this article has been useful to you. We update our blog weekly with articles on various topics. Check them out here! If you have any questions for us, reach to us here. Below is a short video of our therapists, Peh Chia and Winsen, doing a 4 minute workout which is designed to help with weight loss. Do subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates on useful tips and exercises.