Obesity’s Effects on the musculoskeletal system

Anyone having a BMI of 30 or more is considered an obese clinically. When it comes to obesity, WHO suggests that it has tripled since the 1970’s.

Generally, people are aware that obesity is linked to many serious health issues including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, and stroke. But what people mostly overlook is obesity’s effect on the bones, muscles, joints and the whole musculoskeletal system.

Additional weight On Joints

Simply put, your body is meant to handle only a certain amount of weight. When there’s additional weight, there’s more pressure on the joints and subsequently on the bones, causing them to hurt every time you move.

For one pound of extra weight, you can feel the pressure of three to four pounds weight on your knee and hip joints. The discomfort and pain worsen as you engage in physical activities like walking, running or even climbing stairs.

Although obesity is considered one of the leading causes of osteoarthritis, also commonly know as the wear and tear arthritis, it is also preventable.

Fat cells Can damage joints

Research has shown that not just excess weight, but fat cells too, can damage the joints. These fat cells, also called the adipocytes, cause inflammation and as a result break down joint tissues in the body. The damage caused by these fat cells is often irreversible.

Excess weight can cause many issues in your joints and bones including

Tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis. Moreover, extra weight can damage the cartilage at the edge of the bones and you may experience swelling, pain and stiffness in the area. Since more weight means more pressure, it continues to affect the surrounding areas such as connecting tissues, tendons, ultimately causing tendonitis, an extremely painful condition of the joints.

Due to the obesity related joint and bone issues, knee replacements and spinal surgeries are on the rise. What’s worse is the fact that obese people are more likely to dislocate their knee after the surgery, of course due to weight.

What To Do?

So, what’s the solution, it’s the opposite of obesity. By losing weight, you can reduce the pain and complications of your joint issues. All you have to do is adopt significant lifestyle changes and improve your overall health.


Diet is first and foremost. By staying in a caloric deficit, you can lose weight and enjoy a better, healthier life. Include fruits and veggies in your diet and replace junk food with healthier, quick recipes with organic and unprocessed ingredients. Drink more water, avoid sugary foods and stay away from alcohol.


Moving more will always help you lose weight. Remember, a sedentary lifestyle will always translate into more weight gain and health issues. Adding exercise to your routine doesn’t mean jumping or running as your joint pains may not allow that but you can start with walks, slow jogs, yoga and Pilates.

If you have tried to reduce weight with diet and exercise and haven’t seen any results, weight loss surgery can be an option. To see whether you’re the right candidate or not, book your free bariatric consultation with us today!

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