On its own obesity is unhealthy, uncomfortable and effects your life dramatically. Osteoarthritis is very much the same; unhealthy for you both mentally and physically, uncomfortable of course and indeed affects your life in a great many ways. So then you can appreciate that having both together is practically unbearable.
Does One Follow the Other?
Just because you are obese, it doesn’t mean you are definitely going to get osteoarthritis, but it does dramatically increase your chances of getting it due to the increased strain placed on your joints. Particularly the joints in your lower body: knees, lower back, ankles and hips. Think about your poor knees; designed to hold maybe 10 to 15 stones maximum depending on how tall you are and you are forcing maybe 30 plus stone down onto them.
Unfortunately, obesity is not only a major risk factor (along with age, hereditary conditions and injury) when it comes to contracting osteoarthritis; it also dramatically accentuates the existing joint pain when you get it. The excessive weight, (plus the extra force exerted when you walk), presses down on your joints increasing pain and the speed at which the joints deteriorate.
Are There Any More Complications?
Surgery – When you are twice or even four times the size you should be, it becomes much more complicated to operate on your body. Firstly, the amount of time you need to be on the operating table and under anaesthetic increases because your body has that much more mass to be dealt with. Secondly, this increases the risk of problems developing with your health while on the table, which were already high to begin with.
Rehabilitation – After major surgery like a hip replacement or knee reconstruction, it is normal to spend some time resting and then enter into a period of physiotherapy and rehabilitation to get you back to full working order. However, when you are obese this is extremely difficult, as you may not have been able to walk that well to begin with, plus because you are still heavy the weight is just going to immediately go back onto your reconstructed joint. Sometimes people put even more weight on after surgery because they are bed bound and sometimes it can take an excessive amount of time for you to even begin rehabilitation.
Cost – To add insult to injury, with the added hospital time, increased amount of specialist care required and the physical challenge posed with an obese body, if you have to pay for your medical care, you can be looking at a massive bill.
Top Tip: Lose weight before osteoarthritis arrives.
Anders Grey is receiving Arthritis treatment following weight loss surgery. His osteoarthritis would have been much worse had he not got rid of the weight when he did.