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Both chronic pain conditions and obesity are major and increasing public health concerns, and the connections between the two have been firmly established in the medical literature. But as the prevalence of obesity worldwide—and particularly in the United States, where obesity estimates far exceed the world average—continues to grow, a deeper understanding of this connection could potentially benefit both practitioners and patients. A recent large-scale study shows that up to 69% of adults were overweight, with about 35% in the obese category.

A recent review article in The Journal of Pain Research looked at the accumulating evidence strongly suggesting that pain and obesity are “significantly related to each other, and obesity is potentially a marker of greater functional and psychological complications of chronic pain.” The study covered the connection between obesity and chronic pain of many types, including osteoarthritis, migraine, lower-back pain, and even vitamin D deficiency—as well as offering a look at the factors that may contribute to sustained weight loss.

A host of clinical research articles suggest that the conditions are significant comorbidities, adversely impacting each other—along with many other interacting factors.According to the study authors, “Overall, research suggests that obesity makes chronic pain more problematic in general. Obesity is related to greater physical disability and psychological distress in chronic pain patients.Compared to non-obese patients, obese back pain patients appear to be more func­tionally impaired, have greater comorbid problems, and have more radicular symptoms than non-obese counterparts.”

One of the factors leading to increased incidence of chronic pain in obese patients is the heavy weight on joints and the spine. Higher body mass index is associated in arthritis research with greater defective change in knee cartilage and joint space widths. A separate recent study indicated that obese individuals exert significantly greater disk compression force while lifting compared to normal weight individuals, and there are strong links to obesity and degenerative disk disorder. The study also looks at the role of vitamin D in obesity and chronic pain. Low levels of vitamin D appear to be more common in obese people, and poor skeletal mineralization due to vitamin D deficiency may lead to complaints of achiness in the joints and muscles including knee osteoarthritis.

Research suggests that obesity is not only a risk factor for osteoarthritis but also may complicate recovery from joint replacement surgery. Obesity in chronic joint pain may also be related to greater consumption of analgesics; one study noted that obesity was related to daily consumption of analgesics, and obese patients were more likely to be taking strong opioids than normal weight patients.

Among the clinical implications outlines by the review, the authors note that a study of approximately 800 women estimated that the risk of developing knee OA can be reduced by 50% if a person loses as little as 5 kg. Several other studies have shown a direct link between weight loss and joint pain, joint stress, chronic pain, and even migraine pain.

The study authors caution that, “The aforementioned factors are presented as the potential link between obesity and pain. However, some cautionary words need to be in place. None of these factors are likely to explain the entirety of the relationship on their own”

SOURCE: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/understanding-the-relationship-between-chronic-pain-and-obesity

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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Thank you very much for contacting Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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