How Weight Loss Improves The Musculoskeletal System
If you’re experiencing pain in your tendons, bones, muscles, ligaments, fascia, and soft tissues – you’re experiencing issues related to your musculoskeletal system.
Your body’s musculoskeletal system is what gives you mobility – it keeps you moving, maintains your posture, and supports your body weight. The elements of your musculoskeletal system are dependent on the others to perform optimally. Injuries or conditions that weaken even one aspect of this system can limit mobility and lead to pain.
Excess Fat Reduces Musculoskeletal Health
One way you can take care of your musculoskeletal health is by reducing weight, or the pressure you place on the actual skeleton and joints. More importantly, weight loss will result in a reduction of chronic inflammation. Obesity and loss of muscle mass are linked to a variety of chronic diseases and musculoskeletal conditions.
It’s important to note that “weight loss” in this case refers to a reduction in your fat mass index (FMI), so it’s important to go about weight loss in a safe, healthy way. You don’t want to lose muscle mass or weaken yourself further through unhealthy weight loss methods.
Excess white adipose tissue is linked to inflammation and pain. This is what we typically associate with the term ‘fat’, although there are several types of fat within the body that each serve a unique purpose.
Studies show that excessive energy stored in the form of adipose tissue increases low-grade, chronic inflammation throughout the body, which contributes to several musculoskeletal concerns like arthritis. It’s also been shown that higher levels of fat throughout the body are correlated with higher levels within the bone marrow. This can weaken the bones, leading to a decrease in bone density and quality.
So, not only will the loss of adipose tissue decrease inflammation, but studies show that consistent exercise can actually reduce chronic pain associated with arthritis and also benefit bone density. Ironically, some studies have shown that the load imparted by too much energy stored on the body will help support the calcification of bone (for strength).
Improve Your Musculoskeletal Health
While weight loss can feel daunting, it’s important to understand that establishing a healthy routine today can benefit you for the rest of your life. Carrying too much weight on your frame is more often than not a symptom of a deeper metabolic problem. Find out what that is and address it. You will see that weight loss is a secondary effect of becoming healthy – not the cause.
A meal system or method that incorporates unprocessed foods, rich in antioxidants and nutrient dense, is a great place to start. The Mediterranean Diet is a good option for this, because it steers clear of processed, inflammatory foods.
You may already experience the pain associated with musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis, making it difficult to exercise. However, low-impact workouts like walking, swimming, or yoga are still highly beneficial for your health. Also, it is not discussed enough, but the surest and most efficient way to weight loss is to change what you eat, not so much to try to burn off everything you consume.
Physical therapy is a great tool when you’re unsure about where to start with movement, or are experiencing pain when you do. The physical therapy offered at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness can benefit you by offering guidance, care, and tips during your weight-loss journey.