For a while now the medical profession has been suggesting that it is not simply the increased mechanical stress on joints that links osteoarthritis and obesity.
Some studies predicted there was a link between the lipids (fat) in the blood that causes osteoarthritis. This means even non-weight bearing joints would be affected by obesity.
Is There a Link Between Osteoarthritis and Obesity?
This study investigated hand osteoarthritis and obesity because, as they correctly point out, we don’t walk on our hands.
In a cross-sectional study in the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Massengale and colleagues investigated the association between one of the adipokines – leptin – and hand OA. Hand joints are an ideal target to investigate the role of adipokines since they are not weight-bearing.
Interestingly, no association with OA was found, bringing into question a metabolic, rather than a mechanical, explanation for the association between obesity and OA.
Personally I could never figure out any physiological pathway that could cause this anyway. It always made more sense to me it was mechanical. Also I saw a lot of hand osteoarthritis in practice and never saw any correlation between osteoarthritis and obesity in the hands, unlike hip, knees and spine.
Perhaps we could do some non-scientific research between osteoarthritis and obesity. If you are overweight and please leave a comment below saying which joint is affected so we can see if there is any correlation. You don’t need to leave your name!
I do honestly believe you have osteoarthritis in a weight bearing joint, such as spine, hips, knees, ankles, feet and toes and are obese then you need to seriously loose weight. It will not only give pain relief but will also reduce the rate of degeneration.
Hopefully this study will be backed up by others shortly confirming the only link between osteoarthritis and obesity is the mechanical stress. Then the researchers can get on with doing more important research, trying to find a cure.