Reasons to lose the excess weight
Your body weight may be affecting you in ways that you don’t even realize
Today I wanted to talk about a touchy subject, body weight. Most of us know the link between our weight and the risk of many chronic health conditions. The information on how our weight affects our risk is broadcast from the media, government and the fitness industry. However, information that is not broadcast nearly as frequently is the link between weight and pain. There is substantial research showing links between body weight and both joint and muscle pain. Here’s the problem, unlike conditions such as hypertension or diabetes, this pain cannot be managed, at least not cheaply.
Is Body Weight Related To Pain?
Yes. In 2012 a large study was published that showed pain and obesity go hand in hand, even if the person is otherwise healthy. There are numerous conditions that cause pain and that are more common in people who are overweight or obese. These include arthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, and back pain. In fact, this study found that people who were overweight and had a BMI of between 25-29 had about 20% more pain than people whose weight was considered normal. This number got even larger the more overweight the person was. For people with a BMI between 35-39 it was 136% more, and for those with a BMI over 49 there was a reported 254% more pain, 254%!!! While researchers could not explain how this pain was caused, they believe it may be linked to inflammation. Fat cells make chemicals that increase inflammation and inflammation is linked to pain perception.
One condition highlighted in this study was osteoarthritis. Being overweight significantly increases the risk of an individual developing osteoarthritis. The extra pounds put additional stress on weight bearing joints (hips and knees for example). That increased stress can put you on the fast track to arthritis. According to the Canadian Joint Registry data the need for a total knee replacement was 8.5 times greater for someone with a BMI over 30, 18.7 times more likely for someone with a BMI over 35 and 32.7 times more likely for someone with a BMI over 40 compared to individuals with normal weight.
In the case of both hip and knee replacements evidence exists that obesity has a direct association with infection rates. Obesity leads to higher risks for hardware mal-positioning, thromboembolic events, higher blood loss, loosening, infection and ultimately catastrophic failure.
Arthritis can be debilitating, aside from paying for medications to try and manage pain, it can limit your ability to perform your job leading to time lost due to pain or surgery and in turn money lost. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, the earlier you develop it (due to increased wear and tear) the longer you are going to have to live with the symptoms. Total joint replacement surgeries are available but require extensive rehabilitation and often surgeons will not perform them unless someone has lost complete function in the joint.
Here’s the good news in regards to this. One study found that the risk of developing osteoarthritis dropped 50% with each 11 pound weight loss in younger obese women. This is significant in that by losing a mere 11 pounds one can significantly lower their risk of developing a lifelong condition that will be both limiting and painful.
Low Back Pain
Low-back pain has been associated and linked with peoples weights. It appears that lumbar disc degeneration has been associated with increased bodyweight. This degeneration creates the need for treatment, this may involve services such as Chiropractic care or Massage Therapy. These treatments will help relieve pain and improve symptoms but cannot address the original problem. As a result an individual may need multiple treatments to address each flare up which can quickly become a financial burden.
For those suffering from low back pain that may in part be a result of increased bodyweight and integrated care strategy makes sense. Use treatments such as Chiropractic or Massage Therapy to relieve pain, while addressing the weight through diet and exercise. By doing this one may not only relieve symptoms but treat the underlying cause as well.
Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and soft tissue. Symptoms may include chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points. Studies have shown a link between being overweight can significantly raise the risk of an individual developing fibromyalgia. A large study that sampled 380 cases of Fibromyalgia over an 11 year period found that women with a BMI over 25 had a 60% to 70% higher risk of developing fibromyalgia when compared to women with a BMI under 25.
This study also showed that women who exercised were able to lower their risk of developing Fibromyalgia. The overall message that can be taken away from this study is that those who exercise and control their weight will have better health and lower the risk of developing fibromyalgia.
Obesity is not a choice, but you can choose to do something about it
Obesity is not as simple as a choice. While many people would like to simplify it to that it is simply not true. Weight gain can be attributed to things such as injuries, depression, medication and pain. It can be a vicious cycle and at some point there is a need for intervention.
The three conditions listed above are all costly. They force people to buy anti-inflammatories, miss time at work, pay for prescription drugs and seek treatment from Massage Therapists, Chiropractors and Physiotherapists. While treatments can reduce symptoms and provide much needed relief implementing diet and exercise changes in one’s lifestyle will reduce the frequency and severity of pain. This may mean less drugs, less time missed from work, less treatment, increased quality of life and more money in your pocket.
Pure Body Balance and Pure Integrated Training have two great resources to help you implement these changes. Dr. Besner specializes in nutrition and can help you make the changes needed to your diet. While the trainers at Pure Integrated Training can create an exercise plan that you can integrate into your daily life to improve your fitness level. Combining these two (exercise+diet) will have a profound effect on your health. If you are interested in getting started you may book an appointment to see one of the professionals. For those interested we are running the next 90 day New Body Challenge beginning September 8th 2015 this program enforces lifestyle change through proper diet and exercise and can get you started on any weight loss goal you may have.