Being overweight can lead to serious internal health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer. Obesity also has major negative effects to the musculoskeletal system. Joint and bone pain, especially in the knees, is often associated with obesity because of the severe pressure from the excess weight being exerted.
Osteoarthritis is very common in people suffering from obesity and occurs when the cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down and causes damage to the joints. The risk of joint damage during physical activity is also more dangerous for obese people, as they can produce forces on the joints of 6 to 10 times an individual’s body weight. This would mean that, for a 200lb person, walking would create a force of 600lbs and high intensity exercise could produce 1200-2000lbs of force placed on the knee joints. Over time, this will cause more wear and tear to the cartilage and increase the chances of arthritis and the possibility of having knee or hip replacements.
Obesity is a growing problem with poor diet and low activity being an undeniable factor. It is important to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a normal body weight to protect your bones and joints from long-term and avoidable pain.