The Relation Between Obesity and Arthritis- VOL. #3


The Managing & Preventing Arthritis:- Volume #2 states what the causes of arthritis and prevention for arthritis are. Apart from the ways that lead to arthritis, now in this article we will focus on concepts of various treatment of arthritis and suggest programs for the same. Balanced body weight lessens the risk of getting chronic diseases. People’s weight should be under control all the time this can be achieved by doing regular exercise or by participating in activities such as trekking, walking long distance and many more. The activity that produces a slight increase in heart rate or breathing is considered moderate physical activity. It is advised for people with arthritis to do low-impact activities performed at a moderate pace work best.

Does my State have an Arthritis Program?

Arthritis program, which are available to your nearby locations in United Kingdom can be found here (Please note that is not related to these services directly and indirectly. Arthritis programs can be free or Paid both please go through proper details before you enroll). For United States, CDC funded arthritis programs are available at 12 states. These states include – California, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. CDC funded arthritis program to expand the reach of arthritis interventions in 12 states with providing each state approximately $500,000 a year. This funding can be used to expand access to evidence-based interventions i.e. Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, The Arthritis Self-Management Program, The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Enhance Fitness. The idea behind this funding program is to facilitate partners to embed the evidence-based interventions into their routine operations and to collaborate with other chronic disease programs at the state departments of health.

Is Exercise Recommended for People who have Arthritis?

Research studies shows that people with arthritis can participate safely in regular exercise activity. Exercise is recommended for patients who have arthritis; particularly patients who have rheumatoid arthritis should do regular exercise or physical activity such as aerobics, aquatic exercises. Mainly there are three types of exercises for people who have arthritis.

These three types include –

  1. Therapeutic or Rehabilitative,
  2. Recreational or Leisure
  3. Competitive or Elite

Moreover finding the right balance is the key factor in maintaining regular exercise routine. Therapeutic exercises address specific joints or body parts affected by arthritis and this type of exercise is necessary at the first instance.

What Should I do if I have Pain when I Exercise?

It is common to experience soreness or joint pain and surrounding muscles during and after exercise particularly for people with arthritis. It happens when patient start the exercise session i.e. for first 4 to 6 weeks of exercise program. However, this can be avoided if the patient follows regular exercise routine.

There are some tips to avoid pain during and after the exercise– change the type of exercise to reduce impact on the joints. If you find that certain type of exercise causing pain then modify the program by reducing the frequency or by avoid it completely and move to another exercise program. It is strongly advised to do proper warm-up and coo-down before and after the exercise. Wear comfortable sports shoes and these shoes must have proper cushioning. If the pain continues to increase and pain is sharp, stabbing and constant then immediately consult doctor.

How does body weight influence arthritis?

It is clear from the studies that overweight or obese people are more susceptible to get chronic diseases, these may include heart attack, diabetes and arthritis. Weight control is important to keep chronic diseases in control. Maintaining healthy weight reduces the risk of getting osteoarthritis or it may decrease disease progression. Studies shows that loss of 11 pounds can decrease the occurrence of new knee osteoarthritis and losing 5 of body weight can reduce pain and disability. Following regular exercise program may have noticeable long-term pain relief. A person with overweight have more chances of getting joint or knee pain because when a person is obese their knees and joints will get stressed especially weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips.

Are people with arthritis more susceptible to complications from the flu?

People with inflammatory or autoimmune rheumatic disease are at higher risk of getting respiratory infections as well as flu-related complications such as pneumonia. Older people with osteoarthritis are not likely to affect by increased risk from the flu unless they have other high-risk conditions for flue such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer.

Flu can be prevented by vaccinated every year. Arthritis patients are more prone to get flu because of the medications they use heals the inflammatory arthritis which weakens the immune system. People with weak immune system are at high risk for getting more severe illness and complications such as pneumonia or hospitalization with the flu. If develop flu like symptoms consult your doctor immediately and avoid contact with others.

Can cracking knuckles cause arthritis?

Several research studies found that cracking knuckles will not lead to arthritis. However, cracking habit linked to swelling, reduced grip and ligament damage. Cracking knuckles may increase the chances of functional hand impairment and acute injuries. Cracking knuckles creates a vacuum, when additional fluid rushes in to fill the enlarged space it pops the bubble, creating the audible popping sound. This sound occurs when a finger or joint is extended, the pressure inside the joint gets lower. If you feel pain while cracking knuckles, there could be underlying abnormalities of the structures of the joint, for example loose cartilage or injured ligaments. Some arthritis patients experience cracking sounds because of the snapping of irregular, swollen tissues.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Once you consult the doctor he/she will consider your symptoms, perform physical exam to check for swollen joints and prescribe blood tests and X-rays to confirm the type of arthritis you have. Osteoarthritis can be identified by examining the X-ray. X-ray reveals whether there is any loss of cartilage, bone spurs, or bone rupture. To detect early stages of arthritis MRI scan may help to find out if there is any inflammation. Any damage to tissue can be detected by taking CT scan. In case doctor is in doubt of infectious arthritis, he/she will collect fluid from the affected joint and confirm the diagnosis and further treatment. If the damage to your joint is severe and other treatments not reducing the pain, then doctor suggest diagnosing by surgery. Joint replacement is the latest method in diagnosing the arthritis at advance level.

What type of doctors treats arthritis?

Arthritis can be diagnosed by primary care physician by reviewing the patient’s medical history and performing a physical examination. Orthopedists and rheumatologists are specialized in treating people with arthritis. Rheumatologist is a specialist in the non-surgical treatment of rheumatic illness, especially focus on conditions that affect the joints, muscles, and tissues. They will not give treatment for osteoarthritis but they do give treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Whereas, an orthopedic surgeon helps to preserve and restore the function of the musculoskeletal system. An occupational therapist teaches the patient how to do certain day-to-day activities in order to reduce stress on joints and improve muscle strength. On the other hand, a physical therapist gives treatments such as exercise, massage, heat, cold, electrical stimulation and ultrasound, to prevent or reduce joint stiffness and restore muscle strength.

In conclusion, the CDC funded program helps people to get certain amount of relief from pain caused by arthritis. It is proved that crackling knuckles will not lead to arthritis but it cause ligament or tissue damage. Identification of the arthritis in early stage is highly important to lessen the damage it causes to the joints. One can identify the disease by taking CT scan, Blood test, MRI scan etc.