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Obesity Contributes to Arthritis

The more you weigh, the more you increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis, a disease in which the joint cartilage gradually deteriorates, causing pain and stiffness.

“When you carry extra weight on your body, that puts additional strain on your joints — particularly your knees and hips,” says R. August Ritter III, MD, orthopedic surgeon who practices at Saint Francis Healthcare System. “Every pound of excess weight applies four pounds of additional weight on your knees, which can add up over time.”

R. August Ritter III, MD
R. August Ritter III, MD

Extra fat in your body creates and releases chemicals that can cause inflammation in the joints. This contributes to both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own joint tissue. “When you lose weight, you can decrease the symptoms of both diseases,” says Ritter.

Fitness Plus is just one of the options offered at Saint Francis to help you lose weight and fight arthritis.

For information, call 573-331-3000.

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