Thursday, February 22, 2024

Does Losing Weight Help Arthritis

Millions Do And So Can You

Weight Loss Tips for Inflammatory Arthritis (NO EXERCISE NEEDED!)

Train yourself to eat to live instead of living to eat. Begin a lifestyle that promotes physical activity, not TV watching. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard. Chair exercises are very effective for reducing arthritis pain, especially therapeutic chair exercises for arthritis. Start now and you will quickly see results including weight loss, energy gain and better sleep. Better sleep helps you lose weight too! Get started on your weight loss plan now and live a better life tomorrow.

Stay On Top Of Your Daily Calorie Intake Including To Serving Size Recommendations To Reach Your Weight Loss Goals

An estimated 1.5 million adult Americans have rheumatoid arthritis , and about two-thirds of them are obese, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Besides the normal health risks of obesity, carrying around extra pounds puts more stress on already painful joints when you have RA. It also increases the risks for RA comorbidities, such as osteoporosis and heart disease. That’s why it’s very important to lose any extra weight youre carrying and maintain a healthy weight once you reach your goal.

RELATED: A Scientifically Proven Way to Lose 1 Pound of Weight

Heres the tricky part: Though weight loss can help reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis, dieting can be very difficult. This is especially true if youre taking corticosteroids to ease your pain, because a side effect of these drugs can be increased appetite. Here are eight steps to help you take control of your weight.

Excess Weight Can Make Inflammatory Arthritis Even Worse This Advice Can Help You Shed Unwanted Pounds And Make Your Joints Feel Better Too

Dropping extra pounds can be tough enough. Add some stiff, achy joints and extra dose of fatigue to the task, and it may feel near impossible.

But with some effort, you can slim down, and heres why its important: Excess weight can make inflammatory arthritis even worse. Fat tissue releases proteins called cytokines, which cause inflammation in the body, explains Caroline A. Andrews, MD, medical weight management specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The role of weight loss is one of many things your doctor might not tell you about managing arthritis.

Don’t Miss: Rheumatoid Arthritis Thigh Pain

How Can I Help My Patients To Manage Their Weight More Effectively

  • Assess weight and advise all overweight and obese persons to lose weight
  • Review health benefits emphasizing the link between weight loss, exercise and improvement in joint pain
  • Suggest an initial weight loss goal of 10% and a safe rate of weight loss
  • Review changes in eating, behavior, and physical activity that are necessary to lose weight
  • Discuss how to proceed and maximize support
  • Monitor progress with follow-up visits

There are many things you can do to facilitate safe and effective weight management practices with your patients with arthritis. First, address weight directly as an important component of arthritis management. Clearly advise all overweight and obese patients to lose weight. Second, review the health benefits of small weight losses with patients, emphasizing the positive effects of reduced weight and exercise on OA-symptoms such as pain. Third, suggest an initial weight loss goal of 10% if patients are successful achieving this, further weight loss can be attempted, if appropriate. A recommended rate of weight loss is 1-2 lbs per week. Fourth, discuss with patients how they can best achieve weight loss. Successful strategies for weight loss include calorie reduction, increased physical activity, and behavior therapy designed to improve eating and physical activity habits. Specifically, you should suggest that overweight and obese patients:

Improved Mood Due To Exercise Breaks The Vicious Cycle Of Pain Sleep Issues And Depression

How Do You Lose Weight With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Even if pain is not actually worse, poor sleep due to arthritis can bring on mood disorders like depression which make pain seem worse. Managing your weight through exercise sheds pounds while boosting mood, a double bonus for those who need help managing chronic arthritis pain.

Dr. Patricia Parmelee from the Center for Mental Health & Aging at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa found that sleep and pain were closely linked:

Sleep disturbance is a common complaint among those with pain, particularly among those with OA. Our research is unique as we investigate the complex relationships among sleep, OA-related pain, disability and depressed mood simultaneously in a single study.

You May Like: Psoriatic Arthritis Hands Rash

Don’t Miss: Symptoms Of Arthritis In Your Hands

Best Foods For Arthritis That Help You Lose Weight

Losing weight is a good thing for people with arthritis, even if theyre not obese or considered overweight, since losing just a couple of pounds can take a significant burden off the weight-bearing joints.

In fact, studies show for every pound lost, the result is 4 pounds of strain taken off the knees. Plus, if you lose a few extra pounds , youre not only helping to reduce arthritis pain, you are also decreasing inflammation in the body since too much body fat increases inflammation.

Also, something to consider: if you take off excess weight, there may be other unexpected benefitsfor instance, you may not need to take pain medications for your arthritis as often or you might begin to sleep better because you have less joint pain.

Best Foods for Arthritis

What are some of the best foods for arthritis? Here are tips for choosing foods that will strengthen and protect your joints as well as support weight loss.

1. Choose Calcium-Rich Foods: To maintain healthy bones and joints, you need calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Choose foods that contain high levels of these nutrients such as:

  • Lowfat milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Milk alternatives enriched with calcium, such as soy and rice
  • Canned salmon and sardines
  • Chard and other leafy greens
  • Apples
  • Sardines

Foods to Avoid with Arthritis

Obesity And Psoriatic Arthritis

Research also suggests a link between obesity and psoriatic arthritis a form of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that causes scaly, red patches of skin. A population-based study found the risk of developing PsA among psoriasis patients increases with BMI, or body mass index the higher your BMI, the more your risk of PsA increases.

Also Check: Stopping Arthritis In Fingers

Study On Weight Loss Counseling Arthritis Patients

A CDC study found that healthcare professionals counseling for weight loss for adults with arthritis who are overweight or have obesity increased from approximately 35% in 2002 to 46% in 2014. Still, more than half of adults who have arthritis and weigh more than recommended are not receiving healthcare professional counseling to lose weight.

Healthcare professionals should talk to their patients about physical activity and nutrition options to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.

A healthcare professional can talk to a patient with arthritis about weight loss options.

What About Weight Loss Medications

Weight Loss and Arthritis

The clinical guidelines suggest that all patients try lifestyle-based approaches for at least 6 months before embarking on drug therapy. Weight loss drugs approved by the FDA for long-term use may be tried as part of a comprehensive weight loss program that includes dietary therapy and physical activity in carefully selected patients who have been unable to lose weight or maintain weight loss with conventional non-drug therapies. In general, if a patient does not lose 4.4 lbs in the first four weeks of treatment, the patient can be considered a non-responder to pharmacotherapy. Drug therapy may also be used during the weight maintenance phase of treatment. Safety and effectiveness beyond one year of total treatment have not been established.

Also Check: Best Treatment For Arthritis Pain In Hands

Overweight And Obesity Increases Risk Of Developing Arthritis

Obesity is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it most commonly affects joints in your knees, hands, and spine. With osteoarthritis, you may experience:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness thats worse in the morning
  • Reduced flexibility
  • Swelling
  • Joint tenderness

Arthritis pain and stiffness may prevent you from engaging in activities you once enjoyed and can limit your mobility.

What Weight Does To Your Joints

If you are at all overweight, one of the best ways to reduce osteoarthritis pain is by taking off excess pounds. Being overweight increases the load that you put on your joints — your knees, your hips, your ankle — with every step you take.

âWhen we walk, when we go up and down stairs, or get into or out of a chair or car, we can put three to five times our body weight, and sometimes more, on the joints,â says Geoffrey Westrich, attending orthopedic surgeon and Director of Joint Replacement Research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. âSo if youâre 50 pounds overweight, youâre putting around 250 pounds of increased stress across your knees and hips.â

Over time, that extra weight makes you much more prone to developing arthritis and can cause arthritis to progress much more rapidly, leading to much more pain once it has developed.

Fortunately, the same principle works in reverse. âFor every pound people lose, they lose 3 pounds of stress across their knee and 6 pounds of stress on their hip, on average,â says Westrich.

Don’t Miss: What Can I Take For Arthritis In My Hands

Exercise Gives You More Energy

Maybe the thought of hauling your painful joints off the couch makes you tired, but know this: as you consistently exercise, losing weight and building strength and flexibility, your body actually has more energy.

Researcher Patrick OConnor, PhD and co-director of the University of Georgia exercise psychology laboratory in Athens, Georgia recognizes that it may be hard to believe.

A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise, but if youre physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will helpit may be that lacing up your tennis shoes and getting out and doing some physical activity every morning can provide that spark of energy that people are looking for.

Also Check: Mayo Clinic Arthritis

Ways To Lose Weight Without Dieting

Can Losing Weight Cure Arthritis?

Try these small steps to drop excess pounds that may help take pressure off painful joints.

1. 8 Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting
2. Plate Picks
3. Water Wise
4. Slumber to Slim
5. Group Activity
6. On the Other Hand
7. Slow is Good
8. Move to Lose
9. Tools You Can Use

Recommended Reading: What Can You Take For Arthritis In Your Fingers

Maintaining A Proper Bmi Can Be Key To Arthritis Remission

Weight management to help with arthritis isnt always about losing weight. A new study from Hospital of Special Surgery found that those patients with a BMI that was either too high or too low meant a shorter period of remission for those with rheumatoid arthritis. Although higher BMI was linked with more pain and inflammation, those who were severely underweight also had less chance of remission.

Susan Goodman, M.D., a rheumatologist at HSS, says this result was not expected:

Whats striking is that if you look at the BMI classifications, all the patients in the underweight or overweight categories were much less likely to achieve sustained remission compared to those with a normal BMI. Patients who were severely obese had an even lower chance of achieving sustained remission.

Managing weight to stay within your target BMI range may be key to remission of pain while decreasing inflammation. She also noted that:

Our findings represent the first study to present evidence that BMI should be considered among the modifiable risk factors for poor RA outcomes. There are many things patients can do to manage the disease. Along with timely diagnosis and treatment, weight control and other good practices can result in better outcomes.

Does Weight Loss Really Help Relieve Pain With Hip Arthritis


Has anybody really benefited from weight loss whilst suffering severe hip pain?

Asking for lady’s not online. I have a few friends with severe hip pain. One lady lost a lot of weight – absolutely no difference to the pain suffered. Another lady lost small amount of weight and felt a difference. Strange ! it certainly makes sense the more you weigh the harder the joints must work but even stranger that the lady who had less pain having lost a little weight, has noticed that her bad hip side – her leg at the ankle seems to be thinner, possibly due to maybe less stronger muscle – maybe not even connected !

Any thoughts please for a bunch of ladies all struggling

Has anybody felt less pain and subsequently felt much better after losing weight, would be interested to know how much weight loss it took to feel less joint pain.

Thank you…

  • 3 years ago


    I have OA in my left hip, though still have cartilage in my joint. I have lost almost 20 lbs so far and notice a difference in my pain. Yes, I still have the ache of arthritis but have noticed a difference in my pain level. I still want to lose another 20 lbs but need to wait until I’m more compromised before my surgeon will do the surgery. Another way I justify the need to lose weight is primarily health reasons…. I’m only 5’5″ and still weight 190 so I can stand to lose the weight. Good luck with your journey.


  • You May Like: Does Arthritis Cause Redness

    Weight Loss And Exercise Is The Optimal Approach To Managing Obese Patients With Osteoarthritis

    Guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology and European League Against Rheumatism recommend the need for weight loss as well as exercise in the management of overweight or obese patients with OA. Several studies support the combination of exercise and weight loss, together with appropriate analgesia, as a cornerstone for these patients ,. These studies have highlighted important benefits of combined exercise and diet therapy compared with either exercise or diet alone, including greater improvements in gait, knee pain and physical function . Although long-term weight loss can be achieved through calorie restriction alone, the addition of exercise is also required in order to significantly improve mobility , self-reported function and pain . In addition, the CAROT study indicated a decrease in lower extremity muscle mass and muscle strength following weight loss in obese patients with knee OA, suggesting that significant weight loss should be followed by an exercise regimen to restore or increase muscle mass in this patient population .

    In contrast to weight loss among the general population, where rapid initial weight loss can indicate a poorer long-term prognosis in terms of regaining weight , greater initial weight loss in obese people with OA is associated with better long-term prognoses, and can be associated with better compliance with treatment . However, this is in contrast with clinical opinion recommending a slower rate of weight loss .

    Resolve To Lose Weight To Reduce Arthritis Pain

    #RheumTips – How to Lose Weight with Arthritis Joint Pain

    Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for overall health. Most Americans know its importance in reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, many may be surprised to learn excess weight not only exacerbates pain from arthritis, but significantly increases the risk of a patient developing arthritis in the first place.

    According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five Americans has been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. However, that number jumps to one in three among obese people. Studies have shown obese women are at nearly four times the risk for osteoarthritis of the knee compared to non-obese women. For obese men, the risk was nearly five times greater.

    There are two key reasons to explain the connection between obesity and arthritis. First, excess weight increases the load on the joints, particularly on the hip and knees, causing wear and tear of the cartilage. While walking across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. Going up and down stairs, that number increases to four to 10 times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put from 800 pounds to 2,000 pounds of pressure on his knees while climbing the stairs.

    Dr. Matthew Levy sees patients in Solon, Independence, Warren and downtown Cleveland. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Levy call 440-349-7137.

    Don’t Miss: Does Ra Cause Back Pain

    Excess Weight Leads To A Higher Risk Of Developing Arthritis

    While we celebrate all bodies and each persons right to maintain their own healthy journey, research shows, however, that excessive weight and obesity can increase your risk of developing chronic illnesses like arthritis.

    Consider some sobering statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 1 in 3 obese people have been diagnosed with arthritis. This becomes something of a concern when you take into account the fact that 2 out of 3 Americans are either overweight or obese.

    At Urgently Ortho, Dr. Leah Brown and our expert team here in Scottsdale, Arizona, are dedicated to providing you with the best in orthopedic healthcare, including treatment for arthritis care and prevention.

    Now, lets dive into the ways that excess weight and obesity can contribute to developing and/or worsening arthritis.

    Move More Throughout The Day

    It may feel counterintuitive with stiff, painful joints, but not moving can actually make arthritis symptoms worse: Its one of those negative cycles, explains Audrey Lynn Millar, PhD, PT, chair and professor of physical therapy at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. If you dont move the joint, it will actually become more painful.

    Research shows if you do even a little bit of exercise, pain will decrease, she says. Thats because any sort of exercise helps lubricate the joints and maintain function. Think of it like a creaky door hinge: If you dont do anything, it gets worse and worse. But if you add a little oil and move back and forth, it gets better.

    Recommended Reading: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis In Your 30s

    Popular Articles
    Related news