Can Obesity Impact Your Joint Health?

Over the last few decades, the world has witnessed a significant shift in eating habits. These dietary changes led to an increase in the consumption of sugar and high-fat food items, while people not giving preference to physical activities. Both of these factors have contributed to obesity becoming a health complex issue across the world. However, we all have come across obesity raising the chances of suffering from heart problems, stroke, diabetes, however, information about its impact on joint health among people is quite limited.

In this blog piece, we will discuss the challenges of obesity and its impact on your joint health, while letting you know some tips to help with this condition.

Growing Obesity Concern

Obesity is a growing condition where a person suffers an excess amount of body fat, or a poor weight distribution. Obesity in patients suffering from orthopaedic issues hinders the overall treatment process of the patient. The condition not only causes difficulty in your physical activities but also increases the risk of numerous health issues. Moreover, body fat can strain joints and other parts of the body. Additionally, it causes a variety of hormonal changes and metabolic disturbances, leading to increased inflammation throughout the body.

Negative Effects of Obesity

Listed below are some possible complications associated with obesity:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Fatty liver
  • Depression and anxiety
  • High cholesterol
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Lower back discomfort
  • Gout
  • Arthritis

Dangers of Obesity To Your Joint Health

Since obesity causes a great strain on your joint health, it can significantly risk various orthopedic problems, including:

  • Joint and bone injuries resulting due to physical exercise
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic ankle and foot overuse conditions, like Achilles tendinitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon), Flat feet, Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissues which connects your toes with your heel bone) or general ankle and foot pain.
  • Osteoarthritis (a condition which causes cartilage to break down in joints, which causes swelling, stiffness and/or discomfort)
  • The need for knee replacement

Obesity and Its Impact on Joint Health

Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis are the two common conditions that affect joints. Osteoarthritis is a condition of  joint injuries caused due to wear and tear, while Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition where the immune system of the body targets joints and other tissues. The effect of obesity is particularly felt in both the mentioned conditions.

Obesity and Osteoarthritis

The impact on Obesity on joint degeneration is both physical and chemical. The increased force generated by being overweight increases the chance of cartilage loss, particularly on joints bearing weight like hips and knees (physical impact). Moreover, the fat layer in the body releases various chemicals, causing damage to cartilage (chemical impact). Obese people are often at risk of Osteoarthritis affecting wrists, hips, knees and hand joints.

Obesity and Rheumatoid Arthritis

In Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cytokine causes damage to joints and tissues. The fat tissue of overweight people also produces and releases cytokines, which cause inflammation in joints. Obesity raises the chance of developing RA decreases the probability of remission and can adversely impact treatment outcomes.

Can Obesity Affect Joint Health Surgical Procedures?

While obese surgical patients usually have positive outcomes from orthopedic surgery, there are also increased chances of developing complications during surgery. For example:

  • Increased blood loss
  • Increased length of surgery
  • Increased risk of wound infections or not healing
  • Hip or knee implant complications
  • Postoperative pneumonia
  • Peripheral swelling
  • Recovery may take long
  • Poor progress in rehabilitation
  • Increased need for personal assistance after surgery

How To Control The Situation?

Listed below are some great tips to help you control your obese condition and have healthy joints:

  • Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

If you’re overweight, begin with the goal of reducing the weight of your body by five percent. When you’ve reached your first goal, you can set a new one that is to lose 5 percent. It is crucial to set achievable goals particularly if you suffer from arthritis, as the condition may limit the amount of physical exercises you can perform.

  • Building a Diet Strategy

If you’re suffering from weight gain, consult a dietitian and follow the recommendations of your doctor to reduce the number on the scale. This may include taking enough nutrients, even if you’re reducing calories. The body requires adequate levels of vitamin D to take in the calcium mineral that helps build bones. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt, seeds, broccoli, spinach, etc.

  • Start A Walking Routine

Walking can slow bone loss, and could even help increase bone density. Although activities like running and jogging are more impactful as they offer greater benefit due to putting a greater strain on bones. Alternatively, less-impact activities are more manageable for people who are overweight.

  • Do not smoke or drink

Both activities pose harmful risks to your bones. Smoking can weaken your bone strength and increase risk of fracture, causing it to be more difficult for bones to heal after injury. Moreover, heavy drinking can increase obesity levels and also the health risks such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

  • Talk to Your Doctor About Your Hormone Levels

Estrogen plays an important role in the health of bones in both men and women. It significantly affects different kinds of cells that control bone metabolism. Although males are generally less at risk of losing bone as compared to females. In women, the different levels of estrogen are a major factor in the process of losing bone early. Estrogen increases bone density and therefore it’s crucial to monitor your menstrual cycle and ensure that your hormones are working as they can to produce peak density.


Being overweight increases your risk of specific joint health problems we discussed above, but there are a few things you can follow to reduce your chances of being a victim. Losing weight can reduce the burden on joints, leading to better mobility and reduction or even elimination from chronic pain. Also, it can impact the results of orthopedic procedures like joint replacement.

Approaching a reputable orthopedic specialist at the Gadge Hospital can help you decrease postoperative complications. The experts here ensure the patients have a healthy joint health by providing them with best advice in maintaining proper mobility and quicker recovery.

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