In a recent study, researchers found that losing body weight may help reduce joint pain.
They found that losing about 10% of body weight may help protect patients from the pain and that the pain reduction may occur in other body parts.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Michigan.
Previous research has shown that obesity could affect weight-bearing joints.
However, it has been unknown how a person’s weight can influence pain in other body areas such as the muscles, stomach, and head.
In the current study, the team examined 123 participants who followed a low-calorie liquid diet for 12 weeks.
Blood samples were taken at the end of the 12 weeks from one-quarter of study participants.
They found that people who lost about 10% of their body weight had less pain and better mood and cognitive performance compared with people who did not lose as much weight as them.
In addition, these people experienced less pain in abdominal, arm, chest and jaw.
The blood sample result showed that people who lost more weight had higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules in their body.
These molecules are a key weapon in fighting many types of pain.
The researchers suggest that losing weight may affect the central mechanisms of pain control related to the brain and spinal cord.
The finding also showed that the effects were stronger in men than in women. Future work needs to find out why.
The team warns that although weight loss can help reduce pain and improve quality of life, patients shouldn’t approach the task casually.
They may need tailored care from their physicians and dietitians to achieve the goal and thus should consult their doctor first.
The study lead author is Andrew Schrepf, Ph.D., a research investigator at Michigan Medicine’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center.
The study is published in the Journal of Pain.
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