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Orthopedic Problems and Obesity

Orthopedic Problems and Obesity

While people with obesity can often suffer from commonly known health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, they can also face orthopaedic, or musculoskeletal, challenges. Read on to learn the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system and where to find help. 

Common Orthopaedic Conditions Related to Obesity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when an adult individual’s body mass index (BMI) ranges between 25 and 30, that individual is considered overweight. When an adult’s individual’s BMI is greater than or equal to 30, that individual is considered obese. With obesity cases, the musculoskeletal system endures excessive strain and the additional weight affects the organs in the body. The following are common orthopaedic conditions and injuries involving obesity:

  • Osteoarthritis: When too much weight adds too much pressure on joints, osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis, develops. It can erode the cartilage that helps smooth joint movement. The frequent “wear and tear” often affects the spine, knees, and hips, causing stiffness, swelling, and difficulty in movement.
  • Chronic pain: Adolescents with obesity are more likely to struggle from musculoskeletal pain than those who aren’t obese. Similarly, elders with obesity experience chronic pain in soft-tissue structures like tendons and ligaments, which can worsen other common pain conditions such as fibromyalgia. 
  • Musculoskeletal injuries and cardiovascular challenges: Because of the excess pressure on joints, individuals who are overweight are more prone to the possibility of injury. Obese individuals also face a higher risk of surgical complications and slower recovery due to blood pressure issues and weaker working hearts. 

Treatment Options for Your Orthopaedic Problems 

While most of these orthopaedic conditions can be helped with lifestyle changes and weight loss, additional treatment plans and surgical procedures can support you in your journey to live a stronger and healthier life. The team of specialists and physicians at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine work to reduce and relieve any musculoskeletal pain you may be experiencing. If you’re looking for support, please request an appointment with Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.

Dr. McClone - Sports medicine doctor St. AugustineCasey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.