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Sharp Health News

Weight gain … joint pain?

Feb. 27, 2017

Weight gain … joint pain?

Fluctuating weight can happen; however, when a person gains too much weight, the body’s joints and bone health need to be taken into consideration.

“Joint surfaces bear internal forces based upon pounds per inch, and as body weight is gained, the internal forces that joint cartilage is exposed to goes up,” explains Dr. Joel Smith, orthopedic surgeon affiliated with Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. “That increase in force has been shown to cause earlier failure of the cartilage surfaces in many studies.”

According to Dr. Smith, this internal force on joints is worse when rapid weight gain occurs, because it tends to cause more pain in our joints compared to when gradual weight gain occurs; however, there are things we can do to prevent this from happening.

“Joint pain is best avoided by keeping active. The positive effect of regular exercise is real and can help prevent many health problems,” says Dr. Smith. “If a person has joint pain, the first thing to start doing is to move and get that joint going; however, if there is significant difficulty in movement or when reasonable measures fail in improving joint pain, then it could be time to speak with your physician.”

Start your journey to healthier joints by incorporating physical activities into your daily routine. This could begin with just five to 10 minutes of easy motion, such as walking in place or riding a stationary bike, followed with basic weight training.

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