Old and in Pain? Weight Loss Could Make the Difference

Recent study looking into factors involved in chronic pain in the elderly found subjects with central obesity were twice as likely to have pain problems.  Various factors contribute.

Mechanisms of association between obesity and chronic pain in the elderly
PAIN In Press 5 October 2010
Lhasa Ray, Richard B. Lipton, Molly E. Zimmerman, Mindy J. Katz, Carol A. Derby
abstract here

and commentary:
Pain. 2010 Oct 15. [Epub ahead of print]
Understanding chronic pain in older adults: Abdominal fat is where it is at.
Somers TJ, Wren AA, Keefe FJ. no abstract

  • 407 individuals aged >70
  • 52% of their community based sample of adults over 70 live in chronic pain and 42% of these were obese.
  • adjustment made for insulin resistance,  inflammation (High sensitivity C-reactive protein) , pain related comorbidities (osteoarthritis and neuropathies), and  psychological issues (cognitive function, anxiety, depression).
  • Central obesity twice as likely to be in pain

Reasons suggested:

  • “eating high fat and high sugar foods may [temporarily] provide acute pain and/or mood improvements” emotional comfort foods- entrapping chronic pain patients
  • fear of pain and pain catastrophizing might prevent exercise weight loss approaches
  • loss of self-efficacy seen in some chronic pain  and  obesity issues may increase loss of control
  • continuing pain and weight issues leading to emotional reactions such as guilt, anxiety and depression  which can further drive maladaptive behaviours – eating, drinking which both can put on weight
  • Sick advertising techniques:
    • “eating high fat/high sugar foods can provide physical and emotional comfort”
    • resting and taking pain killers are the way to approach pain

They suggest a combined approach to weight management and exercise. Unfortunately, Tai Chi by itself does not loose weight… nike air max 97 nike air max 97

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