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The joints in the body are only able to handle a certain amount of weight, which relates to both body weight and lifting weights at the gym. When one tests the limits of a joint with too much weight, the risk of developing arthritis becomes greater.1,2,3 Here is a discussion of how excess weight contributes to joint and arthritis pain in the body and how it can even amplify the health problems that arthritis has the propensity to inflict.

Weight Gain and Joint Strain

Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis because the extra weight puts more stress on weight-bearing joints.4,9 Also, weight gain can contribute to inflammation that leads to joint issues in one or more joints in the body. Excess weight especially puts a strain on the knees and hips, since these joints are required to carry the heavier body weight.1,2,3

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But excess weight doesn’t just contribute to osteoarthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis as well.5 Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that creates inflammation in the body and leads to joint pain. Fat contains inflammatory chemicals that impact the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems, including adipokines, which promote inflammation6,7. RA has a way of changing the body composition to favor fat over muscle, which is another reason why RA sufferers must pay close attention to diet and exercise.

Obesity and Arthritis

Statistics show that about one in five Americans has been diagnosed with arthritis,8 but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says this number is more like one in three among obese people.10 And in the U.S. today, two out of every three Americans are overweight or obese.

Studies involving obese young people have shown that losing just 10 to 15 pounds can have a tremendous effect on preventing osteoarthrosis when they get older.1 There is no magic solution for losing weight, just good old-fashioned diet and exercise. Since every pound an individual wants to lose represents about 3,500 calories,11 cutting around 500 calories per day is necessary to lose approximately one pound per week.

Weightlifting and Arthritis

In a similar way, lifting heavy weights can put the joints at an increased risk of pain and arthritis, even if a healthy body weight is maintained. But the risk lies with lifting weights that are much too heavy for one’s joints because lifting a reasonable amount of weight is actually a great way to care for arthritic joints.

Light weightlifting can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance in people with arthritis at any age.12,13 Those who are new to weightlifting should get advice from a doctor and personal trainer and then lift slowly and evenly as to not damage cartilage or cause too much strain.

How to Protect the Joints

Fortunately, there are many ways to protect the joints, and this starts with losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight during all stages of life.2,5,10 Always warm up before doing any form of exercise14 and wear protective gear for the exercise being done.15 Learn the correct way to lift heavy16 objects, practice good posture,17 and eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin18 D to promote bone health. And if joint pain persists, try JointFlex for immediate and long-lasting relief for any part of the body without a prescription.

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REFERENCES for PREVENTING WEIGHT GAIN from CONTRIBUTING TO ARTHRITIS PAIN

1. Why weight matters when it comes to joint pain. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/why-weight-matters-when-it-comes-to-joint-pain.
2. Role of body weight in osteoarthritis. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/patient-corner/disease-management/role-of-body-weight-in-osteoarthritis/.
3. Romness, D. W. (2018 June 29). How effective is weight loss for treating knee arthritis pain? Arthritis Health. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.arthritis-health.com/treatment/alternative-treatments/how-effective-weight-loss-treating-knee-arthritis-pain.
4. King, L. K., March, L., & Anandacoomarasamy, A. (2013 August). Obesity & osteoarthritis. Indian Journal of Medical Research, 138, 185-193. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from National Center of Biotechnology Information https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788203/.
5. Delzell, E. How fat affects rheumatoid arthritis osteoarthritis. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/comorbidities/obesity-arthritis/fat-and-ra.php.
6. Del Prete, A., Salvi, V., & Sozzani, S. (2014 March). Adipokines as potential biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis. Mediators of Inflammation, 2014, 1-11. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2014/425068/.
7. Kang, Y., Park, H. J., Kang, M. I, Lee, H. S., Lee, S. W., Lee, S. K, & and Park, Y. B. (2013). Adipokines, inflammation, insulin resistance, and carotid atherosclerosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Research & Therapy, 15, 1-7. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://arthritis-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/ar4384.
8. Arthritis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/index.htm.
9. Arthritis: Risk factors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/risk-factors.htm.
10. Arthritis-related statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/arthritis-related-stats.htm.
11. Simple math equals easy weight loss. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/simple-math-equals-easy-weight-loss.
12. Bartlett, S. Role of exercise in arthritis management. Arthritis Center at Johns Hopkins. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/patient-corner/disease-management/role-of-exercise-in-arthritis-management/.
13. Strength training builds more than muscles. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved October 18, 2018 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles.
14. Melone, L. A New way to stretch. Arthritis Foundation. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/how-to/stretching-benefits.php.
15. Exercise safety. Better Health Channel. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/exercise-safety.
16. Miller, R. S. (2003 May 14). Avoid back injury with the right lifting techniques. Spine Health. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sports-and-spine-injuries/avoid-back-injury-right-lifting-techniques.
17. Posture and body mechanics. Probility Physical Therapy. Retrieved October 226, 2018 from http://www.probilitypt.com/documents/Probility/Probility-Posture-Guide.pdf.
18. Calcium and Vitamin D: Important at every age. The National Institutes of Health. Retrieved October 26, 2018 from https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age.

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