Obesity and pain are often linked together and can negatively affect quality of life. On a daily basis, our bodies fight the force of gravity to complete even the smallest actions and tasks. Carrying extra weight makes it harder to perform daily activities and move around, negatively affecting bones, muscles and joints. Chronic pain can be a result of being overweight and can be relieved by addressing obesity problems. Understanding the relationship between pain and obesity can give you the tools to tackle the issues and improve your health.
The United States has a higher average of obesity than the rest of the world. A recent study found that 69% of adults were either overweight or obese and 35% were in the obese category. Obesity increases the risk of a range of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Also, obese people have higher complaints of pain due to the added stress on their bodies. People with an increased BMI have a higher prevalence of low back pain and increased joint pain as carrying extra weight causes stress on joints, specifically weight-bearing joints such as knees. Being overweight also raises the risk for osteoarthritis, which occurs from wear and tear on a joint. Tackling weight problems is a vital step to improving pain, decreasing the possibility of other health problems and increasing quality of life.
How to address obesity and pain
While obesity and the resulting pain can be overwhelming, any amount of weight loss can produce positive results and alleviate pain. Embarking on a weight loss journey can be daunting but knowing the steps to follow will help you attain your goal. The first step should be a visit with your doctor or a health coach who can help to create a plan to introduce exercise and a healthier lifestyle. This includes both physical activity and healthier food choices. A full physical and cardio analysis can help guide you and your doctor towards the safest plan to weight loss. This is also the right time to talk to your doctor about your current pain levels and what hurts during daily activity.
Increasing physical activity with existing pain can make it hard to perform an exercise regime but interventional pain procedures can help ease some of the aches and pains. Minimally invasive procedures, such as epidural injections, nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation can reduce pain, helping you to commit to your new healthier lifestyle. Aside from these key factors, ensuring you have the right kind of shoe support as well as other tools such as knee braces, back braces and bed support, will be important in supplying your body with structural support throughout your weight loss journey.
Healthy eating is a key component and must be paired with your new exercise regime to fully experience the effects of a healthier lifestyle. A balanced diet with vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy can help with weight loss, but also give you an energy boost.
Obesity and the pain it causes can have damaging effects on quality of life and have life threatening side effects. Making a few lifestyle changes involving healthier food choices and increasing exercise will aid in weight loss and relieve aches and pains. Even a small amount of weight loss can produce positive results – don’t lose hope. Reducing pain is literally only steps away.
If you feel that you are ready to make healthy lifestyle changes to help address your pain, we encourage you to make an appointment for a free 30-minute consultation with our new Holistic Health Coach. Call Pain Management and Injury Relief at (877) 724-6349 to make your appointment today.