Being over weight and obese are recognized to cause significant health problems to an individual. Risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes increase with a growing BMI gradually. But that twinge of joint pain you experience every once in a while might be well connected to your weight as well, and surprisingly, it’s not limited by only weight-bearing joints.
Our bones play an important role in allowing body movement across a large flexibility. Have you ever wondered about how much weight your joint sustains from each bodily motion you make? When walking on level surface, the force exerted on your knees is said to be equivalent to one and a half times your total bodyweight. Which means an 80 kg man shall exert 120 kg of pressure on his legs with each step. When walking at an inclination, the pressure is greater. The drive on each leg is two to three times your total bodyweight as you climb.
Walking down a trip of stairs or squatting to tie your shoelaces, even picking up an item on the ground exerts as much as four to five times your total body weight on your knees. Given the considerable amount of pressure exerted, the increased risk of developing osteoarthritis in obese or obese individuals is often viewed as because of the extra stress exerted on weight-bearing joints. However, the effect of body weight on joint pain is not primarily due to physical exertion. Studies have now shown that inflammation rather than physical exertion is the vital cause of accelerated arthritis in those carrying excess bodyweight.
As osteoarthritis occurs in both weight-bearing and non weight-bearing bones, systemic irritation provides a better explanation of how extra body weight plays a part in it. This also points out why excess weight also contributes to rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that leads to irritation in the physical body and leads to joint pain. Inflammatory chemicals in fat are found out to impact the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems.
This includes adipokines that are secreted by unwanted fat cells and promote irritation. These inflammatory factors associated with weight gain explain why other non weight-bearing joint parts such as those in the hands can be affected by joint disease as well. Losing a few pounds can go quite a distance towards reducing the pressure on your joint parts and protecting them from inflammation.
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Research has shown that a sustained 5-7 kg reduction in weight in obese teenagers can reduce the threat of osteoarthritis later in life. But increasing physical activity may be challenging if you are suffering from joint pain especially. Stepping up your exercise alone is also insufficient to help you lose weight. Hence, focus on light exercise and learn to manage your calorie intake to lose weight and improve your health. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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