Do obese patients have more pain?


Obese patients have a 20% higher chance of experiencing chronic pain!

Obesity is defined as a BMI of 30 or higher.  As an example, if a patient is 5’5” and weighs 180 or greater, they would be considered obese.  If a patient is 5’10”, then a weight of about 210 pounds would be considered obese.

Obese patients are 81% more likely to suffer from headaches or migraines.  It is thought that because obesity increases overall inflammation as well as certain hormones, it increases the incidence of headaches.

Obese patients are 4-5 times more likely to have arthritis of the knee.  Studies have found that losing as little as 11 pounds can decrease disease progression of knee arthritis.  For every 5 pounds lost, there is 20 pound decreased pressure on the knees!

Obese patients are more likely to have shoulder surgeries such as for rotator cuff surgery.  It is  thought that the  extra weight on the arms and upper back stresses the shoulder joint.

Obesity increases the risk of spinal disc disease by 30-79%.  In addition, patients with obesity who have a spinal surgery have a higher rate of post-operative complications including infections and blood clots.  Losing 4 pounds takes 16 pounds of pressure off of the spine.

Obese patients have a 30% increased incidence of foot pain. If a patient loses 5 pounds,  there is 25 pounds decreased pressure on each foot!


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