The Link Between Obesity and Pain Revealed

By , Category : Pain

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The Link Between Obesity and Pain RevealedWe all have different tolerances for pain. Some can ignore symptoms that hurt better than others, either because they experience the intensity of pain differently or they find it easier to deal emotionally with pain. What seems to be universal, however, is the response to chronic pain. No one likes to experience pain day in and day out. But what can you do if you’re trapped in a situation like this? If you are overweight, you might want to consider shedding those extra pounds. In recent health news, researchers at Stony Brook University in New York have linked obesity to higher pain levels.

For their study, the scientists used data from a massive clinical trial conducted by the Gallup Organization. In all, over one million people participated in a phone survey. The survey asked for height and weight, from which body mass index (BMI) was computed, and asked questions about pain conditions in the past year and pain experience yesterday. The researchers classified the participants as low/normal, overweight or obese. The obese group was further divided into three groups. After reviewing responses from the phone survey, the researchers discovered some interesting statistics.

The overweight group reported 20% higher rates of pain than the Low-Normal group. The rates of pain were 68% higher for obese group 1, 136% higher for obese group 2, and an astonishing 254% higher for obese group 3. The association held for both men and women and it became stronger in older age groups.

Even though controlling the associations for other pain-related medical conditions substantially reduced the associations, they remained significant for the obese groups. The research team concluded that people who are obese are considerably more prone to having daily pain.

If you are struggling with pain symptoms that are affecting the quality of your life, consider getting some exercise and working out. By shedding a few pounds, you may find that you get some pain relief. Talk to your doctor about diet and nutrition. You can also read the article Preventing Obesity Starts with This Meal to learn about a particular diet that has helped people reduce their weight.


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Dr. Richard Foxx, MD

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Richard M. Foxx, MD has decades of medical experience with a comprehensive background in endocrinology, aesthetic and laser medicine, gynecology, and sports medicine. He has extensive experience with professional athletes, including several Olympic competitors. Dr. Foxx practices aesthetic and laser medicine, integrative medicine, and anti-aging medicine. He is the founder and Medical Director of the Medical and Skin Spa located in Indian Wells, California, at the Hyatt Regency Resort. Dr. Foxx is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners... Read Full Bio »