How & Why Being Obese / Overweight Causes Joint Pain (Osteoarthritis)


Contrary to popular, layman preconceptions, the problems that being overweight or obese cause are not as obvious as it seems. Of course , there are problems associated with movement and articulations but these in many ways originate from the misalignment of the body as it attempts to correct or perhaps I should compensate for the excess storage fat it now confronted with.

Before we carry on, take a look at this short video below which will also help you to fully understand the issues involved.

What is joint pain?

Joint pain is a collective name for all sorts of disorders characterized by pain, tight and stiff muscles and joints, sensitivity, function loss and swelling. Joint pain is commonly referred to as rheumatism.

Osteoarthritis and arthritis are the most common forms of rheumatism in which joint pain occurs. Joints are the connecting elements between our bones. You use them with any move you make. If heavily over-burdened as is the case in being overweight OR obese, the subject may suffer from joint pain.

Being Overweight is an important risk factor in the emergence of osteoarthritis . During walking, the knees and hips have to support up to from 6 to 7 times the body weight. So,for example, somebody who is 10 kg overweight, subjects these important joints to an additional pressure equivalent to 60 – 70 kilos. Naturally,this will  accelerate the natural wear process of the cartilage.A remarkable fact is that overweight causes not only this “bearing” of joints in the hips, knees and feet, but also of those in the hands.

Relationship Between Joint Pain & Being Overweight

The fats and carbohydrates that are not immediately required by the body are stored in the form of fat tissue (adipose).The abdomen, buttocks, thighs and hips are common deposits for this excess fat.  Over time, the strain that this extra weight places on the body can result in problems like joint pain and arthritis. Eventually, wear and tear on the joints can become so significant that hips and knees may need to be replaced.

“One of the major side effects of the obesity epidemic is a tremendous amount of arthritis,” says Philip A. Kern, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Barnstable Brown Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington. “Years and years of wear and tear on the joints are only exacerbated by carrying more weight.”

This increased weight and increased wear and tear on the joints means more hip replacements and more knee replacements. “That is a real problem,” says Dr. Kern of the obesity-related arthritis epidemic.


Prevalence of arthritis among U.S. Adults by physical activity level. Prevalence of Arthritis or Chronic Joint Symptoms (CJS) Among U.S. Adults by Body Mass Index.

Obesity Effects: What Research Shows

In 1971, the number of cases of arthritis primarily caused by obesity was at 3%. By 2002, that number had increased sixfold to 18%. And an obese person has a 60 percent greater risk of getting arthritis than people who maintain a healthy body weight.

One study examined the factors contributing to total knee and hip replacements in people between the ages of 18 and 50. A remarkable 72% of those who underwent joint replacement surgery were obese.

Obesity Effects: Reversing the Strain

Just as carrying extra weight strains and damages the joints, dropping those pounds will reduce the strain, thereby reducing the risk of arthritis. Even losing just a small amount of weight can improve joint health and function and reduce joint pain. A study of overweight women showed that a weight loss of merely 11 pounds reduced their risk of developing knee Osteoarthritis (OA) by half.

Dr Kern also suggested the following activities in addition to a lifestyle change in eating in order to prevent joint pain and damage :

  • Replace shoes regularly for better support.
  • Wear orthotics if you have foot problems.
  • Learn the proper mechanics of walking and running.
  • Pay attention to your body and rest when you feel pain.
  • Start out slowly and easily, then gradually build up your exercise workouts.
  • Work with a trainer if you feel that you need it.

Preventing obesity will help to reduce the incidence of arthritis and joint pain. So, it’s never too late to get in shape and lighten the load on your joints — just aim to  reach your target weight safely, protecting those joints in the process.


[1] Something ‘Simple’

One of the common signs of joint problem is aching feet which is often accompanied by swelling. Although this may very well will not be a long-term solution to your painful joints,the list of solutions described below will at least provide some welcome short-term relief whilst you consider other long-term remedies :

Alternate Hot And ColdAlternating hot and cold baths alternately dilates and constricts blood vessels in your feet, which boosts circulation and reduces the swelling and achiness in your feet. To do this exercise, fill one basin up with cold water and one up with hot water. While sitting comfortably, place your feet in the cold water for five minutes. Afterwards, switch to the hot water. Switch back and forth for a total of thirty minutes for maximum effectiveness. Elevate Your Feet – Elevating your feet for fifteen to twenty minutes after you are on your feet for any length of time will increase the circulation in your legs and feet and help to reduce and pain and swelling.

Epsom Salts – Epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate heptahydrate. Magnesium is known to help reduce swelling and therefore ease the pain. There are two ways you can use Epsom salt to reduce the swelling in your feet. First, you can fill a basin with hot water, add Epsom salt and soak just your feet or, if you are looking to relax your entire body, you can fill your bathtub with hot water, add Epsom salt, and soak your whole body for forty-five minutes to an hour.

Soak In Essential Oils – An alternative to Epsom salts is to use essential oils, which can help to increase blood circulation and reduce swelling. Essential oils are used in the same two ways as Epsom salts. The best essential oils to use to increase blood flow are peppermint oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary oil.

Vinegar Soak – If you don’t have Epsom salts or essential oils in the house, a final alternative for a foot soak is vinegar. Vinegar helps to reduce inflammation and can be used in two ways. Firstly, you can fill a basin with hot water and add two tablespoons of vinegar; it is additionally beneficial if you add some salt to the water as well. Soak your feet for about twenty minutes. Secondly, you can put equal amounts of water and vinegar into two basins. Make one basin cold water and one basin hot water. Soak a towel that is big enough to wrap around your feet in the hot mixture and squeeze out the excess liquid. Wrap the hot compress around your feet for five minutes. Repeat the same process using the cold mixture. This process is thought to be the most effective because you are getting the benefits from the vinegar as well as from alternating hot and cold on your feet to maximize blood flow and reduces pain and swelling.

[2] Medical Supplements

With the help of fantastic reviews,assessments and data provided by a number of consumer agencies and publications, we are now in a position to present to you a number of joint supplements which we feel offer the best course of action to solve your ailment.Before continuing,we would like to express our gratitude to

– Consumer Health Digest ; BestReviewz ; Which? ; Watchdog ; Altroconsumo ; GoodHouskeeping & Readers’ Digest

They are products in question are ranked to make it easy for you to find effective and safe products. The ranking is based on crucial factors such as : 

  • potential to alleviate joint pain, 
  • potential to promote joint cartilage and tissue regeneration, 
  • potential to prevent recurring damage, 
  • potential to improve overall joint health, 
  • and quality of ingredients.

In the end, we were able to come up with the bottom-line value of each product as illustrated in the following Product Comparison Table:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *