Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Gastric Bypass Surgery Relieves Joint Pain

Weight Loss Surgery May Provide Joint Pain Relief for Obese

WebMD Health News

Oct. 22, 2004 -- The dramatic weight loss triggered by gastric bypass surgery not only reduces the risk of chronic disease among the obese, but it may also offer relief from everyday aches and pains, according to a new study.

Researchers found joint and tendon pain was significantly reduced following gastric bypass and subsequent weight loss among a group of obese adults.

The study showed the number of painful joints and other painful areas reported by the group was cut in half six to 12 months after the weight loss surgery, and complaints of widespread pain and muscle tenderness typical of fibromyalgia were reduced by 92%.

"The study clearly showed the benefit of weight loss in terms of pain, function, and quality of life," says researcher Michele Hooper, MD, co-director of the arthritis translational research program at University Hospitals of Cleveland, in a news release.

Joint Pain Relief From Weight Loss Surgery

In the study, researchers followed a group of 54 obese adults (52 women and two men) who underwent gastric bypass surgery for weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery involves creating a small pouch in the upper stomach and attaching it to the small intestine, which drastically reduces the stomach's capacity and results in weight loss.

Before the gastric bypass surgery, the women weighed an average of nearly 300 pounds and they lost an average of 90 pounds within six to 12 months following the procedure.

Researchers found that the participants frequently reported joint and tendon pain before the weight loss surgery, both in weight-bearing and nonweight-bearing areas, such as a the neck, shoulder, lower spine, hip, and knee.

But the number of those joint pain complaints was dramatically reduced following the surgery. For example:

  • 21% reported neck pain before versus 2% after
  • 40% reported shoulder pain before versus 27% after
  • 38% reported lower back pain before versus 15% after
  • 75% reported knee pain versus 44% after
  • 46% reported foot pain versus 8% after

In addition symptoms of fibromyalgia or widespread pain and tenderness in muscles and other soft tissues were reduced by 92%.

Researchers say this joint and muscle pain relief may be due to a decrease in other health problems following weight loss surgery, such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, gastrointestinal complaints, type 2 diabetes, and asthma, as well as an increase in physical activity.

"This was a highly motivated group of individuals who made major lifestyle changes in addition to their surgery," says Hooper.

Researchers say that these joint pain relief benefits may improve further as weight loss continues following the surgery.

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
Woman trying clothes / dress
Assessment
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections