Body Weight Can Influence Pain Across the Body

Many can rationalize that elevated body mass may promote pain in the lower limbs. After all, your lower body bears the stress of holding you up.

But new research associates body mass index, or BMI, with greater pain severity in the knees, feet, and hips, as expected, but also in the hands, in people with osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, caused by “wear and tear” on the joints over time. It differs from rheumatoid arthritis because it is not an autoimmune and inflammatory disease.

This new study suggests, however, that inflammation can contribute to osteoarthritis.

Being overweight or obese is associated with a host of health problems. Like heart disease and diabetes, many of those problems are driven by inflammation. Excess body fat is associated with higher levels of systemic inflammation, which may lead to pain in seemingly unrelated conditions.

According to this new research, body weight may have a systemic impact that leads to joint pain in the hands and the rest of the body. It appears joint pain may be less about weight than how excessive body fat impacts immune response.


Researchers looked for an association between BMI and pain in 281 people with osteoarthritis. They found that each 5-unit increase in BMI was associated with more severe hand pain.

BMI is a measurement of body fat based on a person’s height and weight. You can find a number of BMI calculators online.

If you’re suffering from pain in your hands and wrists due to osteoarthritis, you may get some relief by attempting to pull your BMI back into the “normal range.” Limiting processed foods, eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and lean protein, as well as including more activity into your day, can all help.

Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.