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3 Primary effects of obesity that cause joint pain

According to a research conducted countrywide in India and published in the British Medical Journal, the prevalence of obesity is exponentially growing in all classes of our society, irrespective of gender, locality or financial status. In 2019, the number of obese Indians went up to 13.5 Crore, with the prevalence rate shooting up to 34%. Consequently, according to different research, the prevalence of joint pain in Indians has surged to 39% with more than 18 Crore people suffering from joint pain.

It is more evident than ever that obesity is directly or indirectly affecting the joints in our body. Especially, the load-bearing joints such as the hip and the knee are taking the most substantial toll. 

Three primary effects of being overweight that adversely reflect on the load-bearing joints are:

Applying Unrestrained Pressure:

Ideally, the weight pressure experienced by your knees while walking is 1 ½ time what you weigh. The same pressure becomes two to three times more than your body weight while climbing a flight of stairs. 

What this means is that if you weigh 100 kgs, your knees will experience a sheer pressure of 150 kgs when you walk, and the pressure will be equivalent to 200 kgs while climbing. 

This will cause your knee parts like the kneecap and the cartilage to undergo excessive wear and tear in less time. Damaged cartilage can also lead to arthritis, causing decreased range of motion, stiffness, pain, swelling or warmth in the hip and knees. 

Triggering Inflammatory factors:

A lot of inflammatory disorders that are autoimmune, neurological or digestion-related have been linked to excess body weight. 

Diseases like diabetes, hypertension and coronary heart diseases which are primarily caused due to obesity can also trigger joint pain and damage. 

Causing Biochemical Changes:

Leptin is a hormone responsible for regulating food intake and overall body weight by signalling the brain. 

However, the surging body fat creates resistance towards Leptin and deems it uninfluential. 

This makes it difficult for one to know if they are full while eating further, leading to more fat formation and resistance to Leptin.

Research has shown that people who have high leptin levels may have more chances of developing arthritis, bone spurs, joint swelling, cartilage defects, meniscus tears, and bone swelling.

Here are a few tips on how you can reduce weight and prevent your joints from any further damage:

  • Reducing one kilogram of body fat reduces twice the pressure on your knees. This means exercising daily can lighten your knees and prevent them from severe wear and tear for a longer lifespan.
  • Exercising for 30 minutes every morning exposes you to enough sunlight for producing Vitamin D, which helps the bones and muscles to stay healthy and strong.
  • Consuming food items like fish, egg, leafy vegetables, milk etc. in your diet can help you get the necessary nutrients for your bones and help you reduce weight.
  • You don’t have to start a hardcore diet immediately. You can begin by controlling your calorie intake and gradually increase your physical activities.


If you’re suffering from severe joint pain, you must consult a doctor to receive proper orthopaedic treatment. And if you’re looking for an orthopaedic doctor in Wakad who can help you assess your joint pain and provide effecting solutions, then Alpha Hospital is where you need to be. With a team of orthopaedic doctors who are highly commended knee and spine specialist in Wakad, you can find the best solutions for all your joint-related issues under one roof.

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