If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling with chronic joint or back pain, it’s likely that you’re also struggling with something else: shedding excess weight.
According to the FDA, as of June of 2021, approximately 70% of American adults were obese or overweight. Most of us are well aware that being overweight is associated with some leading causes of death, including heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and is linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. But another result of carrying excess weight that you may not realize, is increased inflammation and stress on joints, spine, especially in the lower extremities.
But losing weight, for many, is just not that easy. It can be especially difficult if you are already experiencing a pain problem that prevents you from getting the physical activity you need to lose weight. That lack of physical activity can contribute to more pain, more weight gain, and other serious health issues. It’s a vicious cycle.
One study found that people who are overweight have much higher rates of osteoarthritis. In fact, those with a body mass index between 30-35 were found to be four to five times more likely to develop osteoarthritis of the knees.
This makes sense because osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear of a joint over time. Add excess weight to the formula and now you’ve got more pressure on the joints causing more sliding, grinding, and rubbing of the cartilage which causes more irritation, pain and swelling, and ultimately degeneration.
But luckily, small changes can make a big impact. According to another published study, losing as little as 10 pounds can decrease the progression of your knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent!
With that being said, if you’re looking for a conservative way to manage joint pain, particularly knee, hip, ankle, or low back pain, losing excess weight should be your top priority. Every pound lost can make a difference in taking stress off of your joints.
But what if you’ve found yourself stuck in a position where you’ve got too much pain to get the physical activity required to actually lose weight?
I’m happy to share that I now offer a new medical weight loss option to help you finally break this cycle. Semaglutide is a weight loss medication that was approved for weight management in adults with obesity or overweight for use in addition to a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. This once-a-week under-the-skin injection is the first approved drug for weight management in adults with general obesity or overweight since 2014. Semaglutide is also a medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Semaglutide acts like human glucagon-like peptide-1 and suppresses appetite and increases satiety which allows people to lose weight without the struggle of hunger.
Prior medications used for weight loss were stimulants or antidepressants to suppress appetite but now we have a more direct means to effect hunger and satiety.
Some indirect benefits may also include improvement in blood sugar levels reducing risk of diabetes, cholesterol levels reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and may further be neuroprotective.
I’m thrilled to say the results with this medication have been outstanding so far, and if you’re unable to lose weight on your own, this may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
There is always a chance this medication can cause side effects or it may be contraindicated with some medical conditions and you should always talk to a doctor before starting this powerful medication to find out if this is right for you.
Are you ready to lose weight and start feeling lighter on your feet? Call my office to inquire about your candidacy for treatment with this highly effective medication.
Otono Silva MD