Here's How Your Weight Affects Your Risk for Arthritis

Excess weight leads to a higher risk of developing arthritis

While we celebrate all bodies and each person’s right to maintain their own healthy journey, research shows, however, that excessive weight and obesity can increase your risk of developing chronic illnesses like arthritis. 

Consider some sobering statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 obese people have been diagnosed with arthritis. This becomes something of a concern when you take into account the fact that 2 out of 3 Americans are either overweight or obese.

At Urgently Ortho, Dr. Leah Brown and our expert team here in Scottsdale, Arizona, are dedicated to providing you with the best in orthopedic healthcare, including treatment for arthritis care and prevention.

Now, let’s dive into the ways that excess weight and obesity can contribute to developing and/or worsening arthritis.

How fat contributes to osteoarthritis

There are two kinds of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, which is an inflammatory disease, and osteoarthritis, which involves a physical deterioration of joint cartilage. 

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, affecting about 27 million Americans. With osteoarthritis, the cartilage that cushions your joints breaks down due to excess pressure or impact.

When you carry excess weight, you place more pressure on your joints, thereby leading to increased pressure and eventual wear and tear on the cartilage. This is problematic, as it leads to bone on bone rubbing, nerve damage, pain, and decreased mobility.

Unfortunately, every pound of excess weight places about 4 pounds of extra pressure on your joints. So, as an example, even if you’re ten pounds overweight, you’re actually placing 40 pounds of extra pressure on your joints, which can be seriously damaging.

How fat contributes to rheumatoid arthritis 

Excess fat doesn’t just increase your chances of developing osteoarthritis, it can also bring about rheumatoid arthritis. Excess fat releases inflammatory chemicals in your body. This kind of inflammation increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

The benefits of maintaining a healthy weight 

Everyone’s body is different, and Dr. Brown can tell you the healthy weight range for your unique body type. That being said, if you are overweight or obese, there are some major benefits to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, whether you have arthritis or feel concerned about developing it.

These benefits include:

If you have arthritis or are worried about developing it, especially if you’re overweight or obese, our team at Urgently Ortho can help you. Get started on your journey to a healthier weight and better overall health by calling us today to set up an appointment.

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