Obesity and daily physical pain

Knee and hip problems are common in obese and overweight people. A Gallup article discusses a study, originally published in Obesity, that associates daily physical pain with obesity. A large percentage of obese subjects in the study report daily pain that inhibits their daily activities. The study also reports that obese women experience more pain (both in degree and frequency) than obese men.

The table above also shows that degree and frequency of pain increases with age. I have discussed the link between obesity and chronic pains, but the significance of this study is that it shows that obesity is a direct cause of daily pain independent of other diseases. Not only does obesity lead to more chronic pain, but the pain also restricts activity and promotes further weight gain.

Exercise has helped me immensely in dealing with pain so I highly recommend it. It induces weight loss and consequently alleviates pain associated with obesity. It also increases cognitive function, reduces stress, and makes you look younger, ladies?!?! Any form of exercise/physical activity will help. Walk when/where you can instead of driving (driving for long periods can cause back pain). Don’t let pain stop you from finding out what exercise works for you!


Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See vascularanesthesia.com for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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