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Why Being Overweight Causes Pain: 5 Facts

CRegal Sep 28th, 2012 (updated Apr 20th, 2016)
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Obesity does not directly cause osteoarthritis, but it increases the amount of stress that the weight-bearing joints must carry and contributes to joint wear and tear. Here are five facts about how obesity and arthritis are linked.

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Walking
Walking

If you are obese, your knees and hips experience up to three times as much pressure with each step.

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Climbing stairs
Climbing stairs

If you are obese, your knees and hips experience up to six times as much pressure when walking down a flight of stairs.

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Weight gain increases risk
Weight gain increases risk

For every 10 pounds of excess weight gained, the risk of developing osteoarthritis increases by approximately 40 percent.

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More than just the hips or knees
More than just the hips or knees

Obesity is a risk factor for developing arthritis in the knees, hips, hands and ankles.

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Weight loss among women
Weight loss among women

Overweight women who lose as little as 11 pounds decrease their risk of developing arthritis by more than 50 percent.