Lose Weight

Lose Weight

Being overweight makes pain worse. But who likes trying to lose weight? To jump-start your motivation, take time to analyze what you lose from being overweight and what you may gain if you lose some. Then make a plan to help face your challenges.

Conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, wrist pain, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain

Triggers: not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: Weight Loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise

Categories: treatment

Duration

30

Weight and Diabetes Type 2

Losing weight helps ease chronic pain. It can also lower your risk for heart disease and make it easier for you to breathe. Plus, if you are overweight, dropping just 10 lbs. may lower blood pressure and help prevent you from developing diabetes.

Already have diabetes? Weight loss can help lower your blood sugar levels when you're obese. The more you can keep blood sugar levels in check, the lower your risk for complications.

Talk with your doctor about how weight loss might help you.

Prompt: Want improved total health?

CTA: Lose a few excess lbs.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, uncontrolled diabetes,

Treatments: Weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise

Categories: Treatment

Want to Lift Mood?

According to research, obesity increases your odds of being depressed by as much as 55%. And depression can make weight problems worse.

Losing even a small amount of weight can improve physical and mental health -- including reducing pain. Treating depression may increase motivation  to lose weight. Interestingly, some diet and exercise programs with and even without weight loss have been shown to improve psychological outcomes such as depressive symptoms and quality of life. Ask your doctor how your weight or depression may be affecting pain.

Prompt: Want to raise mood?

CTA: Lose weight, lessen depression.

Conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise, counseling/therapy

Categories: treatment

Hate Exercise?

Excess weight can stress your body, leaving you tired, breathless, and in pain -- putting a big dent in your desire to exercise.

Depression, which is linked to obesity and chronic pain, may decrease your motivation to be active. Then you're in a vicious pain cycle.

Losing even a few pounds and moving your body more can jump-start your mood and energy. Browse Exercise Goals to help you start a more active life.

Prompt: Exercise slug?

CTA: Weight loss zaps inertia.

Conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, counseling/therapy

Categories: treatment

Help Knee Pain

Research has shown for every 1 lb. you lose, you remove 4 lbs. of pressure from your knees. Considering experts recommend that we take 10,000 steps each day, each pound lost is a lot of pressure off your knee joints. According to the CDC, women who lose just 11 lbs. cut their risk of developing knee OA in half. If you already have arthritis, losing extra weight may make moving easier and may help slow the disease. Let these facts motivate you during your weight loss journey.

Prompt:  Knees hurt?

CTA: Lose a few lbs. for relief. 

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, leg pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, pain worse in AM, weight gain

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: Weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise

Categories: Treatment

Neck-to-Toe Pain

Excess weight contributes to disc degeneration and neck and low back pain, so losing weight can take a load off your back. Just a few pounds can yield big pain relief benefits in hips, knees, ankles, and feet. Losing even 5% of your weight -- 10 lbs. if you weigh 200 lbs. -- puts less stress on those joints.

Weight loss can also ease sciatica, which can cause pain in the lower back, buttocks, back of upper legs and knees, and soles of feet. Consider how much your quality of life will improve with less pain.

If you have diabetes, your weight may play a role in neuropathy, nerve damage that occurs in the lower legs and feet. 

Prompt: Hurt from your neck down?

CTA: Lose 5% for relief.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, sciatica, back pain, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner

Categories: treatment

Weight and Fibro

Being obese is associated with more severe fibromyalgia symptoms, including fatigue, sleep problems, mood disorders, and chronic pain. Carrying excess weight and having fibromyalgia can lower your quality of life. The connection between obesity and inactivity doesn't help either since activity is a key to treatment for fibromyalgia.

Don't make drastic diet or exercise changes and risk problems. Instead, talk with your doctor and a counselor to get physical and emotional help.

Prompt: Lose lbs., lose pain.

CTA: Reduce to ease fibromyalgia.

Conditions: fibromyalgia

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, weight gain, fibro fog, concentration problems

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise, counseling/therapy

Categories: treatment

Severe Migraines

Research shows that obese people have more frequent and severe migraines.

That means that losing weight may help ease migraines and help you get back your productivity. Ask your doctor to help you identify the physiological reasons, emotional issues, and everyday behavior that may contribute to your headaches and your weight. If he or she isn't sure how to help, ask for a referral to someone who can.

Prompt: Obesity worsens migraines.

CTA: Lose weight for relief.

Conditions: migraine

Symptoms: depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, headache, migraine, pain, aura

Triggers: exercising, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise, counseling/therapy

Categories: treatment

Carpal Tunnel Rx?

Did you know that obesityis associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, the condition that causes hand pain and numbness due to pinched nerves in the wrist?  A recent study followed 43 women who each lost 50 lbs. or more.  In the group of 24 who had carpal tunnel syndrome, weight loss cured its symptoms in all but 3 of them.  If you are overweight and have carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to your doctor about weight loss. Choose to lose, and you may ease your pain and avoid surgery.

Prompt: New Rx?

CTA: Drop 4 dress sizes, cure carpal tunnel.

Conditions: nerve pain

Symptoms: depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles, pain, wrist pain, hand pain, arm tingling

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner, exercise

Categories: treatment

Keep Pain in Check

Being obese increases your risk for several types of chronic pain. Compared to people at a healthy weight, obese men and women are more apt to develop:

* Chronic lower back pain

* Neck or shoulder pain

* Osteoarthritis

* Fibromyalgia

* Migraines

Your efforts to lose weight may help you avoid these other types of chronic pain.

Prompt: Set boundaries.

CTA: Lose weight as prevention.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner

Categories: treatment

Get Ready to Lose

There's no sign-up or fee needed to start making strides toward losing weight. Here's a good way to start. Think about what, when, and why you eat. To help, write it down -- what you eat, how long you went without eating, your mood, and the situation. You'll likely gain insights that can help you make strategies for making healthier choices.

Next step: Sit down for regular meals (at the table) and eat the same foods, but try eating less of them by paying attention to feelings of hunger and being full. This can make the transition to healthier eating easier. To increase feelings of fullness, add filling foods such as fruit, lean protein sources, veggie-heaped salads and light soups. Cut out juice and soda - their calories are all in sugar.  

Prompt: Get ready to lose.

CTA: Start taking small steps.

Conditions: Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, migraine, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, joint pain, ankle pain, knee pain, pain with movement, pain when standing, all over pain, difficulty walking, depression, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, bladder problems, sleep apnea, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner

Categories: treatment

A Weight Loss Buddy

Saying you're going to lose weight is easy. Sticking with it is hard. Someone by your side, through the journey, makes it easier and more fun.

Ask your family for support. Also choose a weight loss buddy who has the same diet and exercise goals as you. Keep it noncompetitive -- work out together and support each other.

Check hospitals, gyms, and schools for support groups. Research shows participation increases weight loss. . And if you find yourself struggling, visit a registered dietitian for some one-one-one support. 

Prompt: Team up.

CTA: Stay motivated with a partner.

Conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, muscle spasms, arm pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, neck stiffness, ankle pain, buttock pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, knee pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner

Categories: treatment

Realistic Dieting

Some days you'll be disciplined and motivated. Others, not so much. The key is to learn from mistakes and create a healthy lifestyle you can live with. That way when your weight plateaus, you will stick with it because what you are doing is enjoyable.

Don't obsess when you eat too much or don't exercise for a few days -- simply make changes to what's not working for you. Consider talking with a counselor to help you move past uncomfortable feelings.

Stay realistic about how much and fast you'll lose, too. People with high expectations lose the least weight -- as do those expecting to be happy with any loss. Most weight is lost in people with moderate expectations.

Prompt: Be realistic.

CTA: Forgive "bad" days.

Conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, undiagnosed

Symptoms: stiffness, aching, muscle pain, pain, lower back pain, upper back pain, muscle spasms, arm pain, buttock pain, foot pain, hip pain, leg pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, reduced joint movement, stiff joint, swollen joint, warm joint, joint pain, neck stiffness, ankle pain, buttock pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, knee pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, tender points, back pain, headache, migraines, pain worse in AM, spine pain, pinched nerve, weight gain, numbness, tingling, pins and needles

Triggers: exercising, moving joint, putting weight on joint, not exercising, inactivity, poor diet, obesity, overweight, sadness, desk work, sitting too long, fatigue

Treatments: exercise, weight loss, dietary changes, nutrition therapy, eating less at dinner

Categories: treatment

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on February 22, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Weight Management and Blood Pressure."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What Are Overweight and Obesity?"

Blackburn, G. and Cordiss, J. Break Through Your Set Point: How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It Off, Harper Collins, 2008.

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Osteoarthritis - Risk Factors."

Arthritis Foundation: "Osteoarthritis Basics: What Causes OA?" and "Understanding Arthritis: Eradicating Myths."

CDC: "Arthritis-Related Statistics" and "Arthritis FAQ."

Saint Joseph Health System: "10 Tips for a Healthy Back."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Low Back Pain Fact Sheet."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Low Back Pain."

Cleveland Clinic: "Posture for a Healthy Back."

Arthritis Foundation: "Common Therapies to Consider."

Medline Plus: "Peripheral Neuropathy."

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.