Many people within the United States suffer with some type of chronic pain, such as arthritis or back pain. Nearly 59% of these individuals have reported that experiencing chronic pain has had a significant impact on their overall enjoyment of life. In many instances, people that suffer with chronic pain are unable to be as active as they would like to be. While obesity may be a contributing factor to chronic pain, it is not unusual for people that were previously at a healthy weight to become obese due to a change in lifestyle.
Chronic Joint Pain
According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis refers to different types of joint pain or diseases that occur in the joints. There are actually over 100 types of this disease, which also includes related conditions. While arthritis is more commonly found in women, it can further develop as both men and women age.
The Arthritis Foundation also indicates that there are a variety of arthritis pain treatment options. One of these arthritis pain treatment options is to engage in regular physical activity. Another arthritis pain treatment option is to create and maintain an optimal, healthy weight. Physical therapy may also be recommended as an arthritis pain treatment in conjunction with other types of therapy.
Chronic Back Pain
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reported that at some point in their lives, 80% of adults will experience some type of back pain. While back pain may arise from poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle, there are other conditions and circumstances that may lead to back pain. In addition to someone being in an accident or tripping and falling, it’s also been shown that back pain can occur due to a lack of regular exercise.
There are different types of chronic pain treatments for back issues. These treatment options will, of course, vary, and be dependent on the possible causes of this type of pain. In addition to physical therapy, a physician or physical therapist may recommend specific types of exercises to strengthen the stomach and other muscles.
The Role of Obesity in Chronic Pain
When someone is defined as being overweight by their doctor, this means that their weight is ten percent to 20% higher than what is considered to be “normal” by height and weight charts. If an individual is defined as being obese, however, then their body mass index ranges between 25 to 30. In the United States, over one out of every three adults is considered to be obese.
Since this extra weight can put a strain on a person’s bones, joints, muscles, and overall posture, this can often lead to a variety of chronic pain issues. Furthermore, it can also increase their risk of heart disease and other health issues. When someone loses just five percent to ten percent of their weight, it has been proven to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
Exercise and Other Treatment Options
When people suffer with chronic pain, it’s important for them to seek professional guidance and support from their healthcare providers. In addition to providing immediate care for pain, physicians can recommend a variety of treatment options for arthritic and back pain. Furthermore, when a patient is not at a healthy weight, they may recommend a doctor supervised weight loss program. In some instances, a physician may recommend gastric bypass surgery to assist their patients with losing weight.
While it will depend on the individual, the recommended amount of daily physical activity for healthy adults is 30 minutes. Recent data shows, however, that less than five percent of the adult population engages in 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis. Furthermore, just one in three adults engage in 30 minutes of exercise on a weekly basis.
Creating and maintaining an active lifestyle can make a significant difference for many individuals that experience chronic pain. Since so many people have reported that their chronic pain impacts their overall well-being and enjoyment of life, it makes sense to schedule an appointment with a physician to take the necessary steps to alleviate this situation.