Does Osteoarthritis Cause Weight Loss? Things To Know!

Osteoarthritis Cause Weight Loss

Osteoarthritis usually occurs in the synovial joints, such as knee or hip joints. The bones that form these joints are surrounded by periosteum, which is a very painful and sensitive structure containing pain receptors. The ends of the bones are surrounded by articular cartilage that helps in absorbing shock and also the synovial membrane that produces synovial fluid. A synovial joint is also further stabilized by ligaments.

How Does Osteoarthritis Affect Your Weight? All You Need To Know

In osteoarthritis you suffer from the degeneration of the joint, more specifically degeneration of the articular cartilage. They break down and damage in the effect of joint space narrowing.

Osteoarthritis Cause Weight Loss

This is called mild osteoarthritis, which is very common when we age. There are many risk factors, however, which predispose and increase the risk of early osteoarthritis. Obesity is one of them.

Osteoarthritis vs. Weight Loss :

Weight loss is not the result of osteoarthritis, it is one of the remedies. In a nutshell, osteoarthritis most often causes weight gain because it limits your movements. On average, patients suffering from osteoarthritis are about half as likely to get a new diagnosis of arthritis during their weight loss, as opposed to patients who do not do exercises.

Generally, obese people are more prone to get diagnosed with osteoarthritis at any age. It becomes increasingly difficult for the knees to bear the load of the entire body. In that case, if you are able to lose weight, it may reduce the risk of developing further complications or at least developing osteoarthritis in another knee. 

Unfortunately, losing weight does not seem to make the x-rays look that much better. They do not seem to severely alter the progression on the x-rays, so the x-rays may or may not get worse with time. Not everybody with osteoarthritis shows progress with x-rays.

For people who lose weight, their x-rays look slightly better as opposed to people who do not lose weight. This implies that losing weight does not increase the progression of cartilage loss. Furthermore, many patients show signs of improvement in their knee pain after working out for a few days.

Benefits :

Weight loss is a really important treatment for a person with osteoarthritis for a lot of different reasons. Firstly, by losing weight you will take the load off the joints that are otherwise affected. By doing so, it can help with the pain and loss of function coming from the joint.

In addition to this, weight loss is a really important risk factor, both for the progressive development of osteoarthritis and for the ongoing structural changes such as your ability to change the course of the disease by losing weight.

Also, there are other really important benefits of losing weight for a person with osteoarthritis including – 

  • Meaningful improvements in a person’s pain
  • Improvements in bodily functions
  • Improvements in the long term disease

Is there a likelihood of a joint structurally changing over time? Of course, there is, and it plays a key role in reducing your chance of requiring a joint replacement. In addition to that, there are also mortality benefits, which implies that you are less likely to fall fatally ill if you lose weight in the context of osteoporosis. 

Still, the most important characteristics are these really critical and meaningful improvements in a person’s pain. If you lose 10 percent of your body weight, you can expect around 50 percent improvement in the painful sensation coming from your knee with osteoarthritis. 

From a medical as well as physio perspective and certainly from the research evidence it is evident that there are various important interventions or treatments that people really should be involved in.

The most notable one is losing weight by exercising. So, weight loss is for people who are overweight or struggle to maintain their body weight in a consistent manner. For those who are at a normal weight, it really is critical to maintain their height to weight ratio in a healthy way.


It is important to emphasize that this is applicable for anybody with osteoarthritis, irrespective of their age, comorbidities, or other conditions that might be affecting them. It is irrespective of the severity of a patient’s arthritis. Therefore, joint exercises and weight loss are two integral parts for all patients when osteoarthritis is a concern.

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