What is Comorbidity?
If You Have OA, You May Also Have X, Y, or Z
“Comorbidity” refers to the existence of more than one disease or chronic condition in a single patient at a single moment of time. Also known as “multi-morbidities”, as many as 25% of Americans live with two or more chronic conditions.
Osteoarthritis (OA) doubles a person’s risk for multiple comorbidities by 2.5x. In fact, research reveals that obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease are the most common chronic conditions associated with OA. While the severity of symptoms varies from patient to patient, it has been shown that the increased pain and overall decline in physical activity brought on by OA can lead to and/or exacerbate other ailments.
Rest assured that there are viable solutions to combat the onset of comorbidities as well as the increased immobility brought on OA of the knee. Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® offers a non-surgical outpatient therapy that in many cases decreases the pain of chronic OA of the knee and increases mobility. Below are some of the most common multi-morbidities OA sufferers experience and how increased activity can significantly reduce symptoms.
OBESITY & OSTEOARTHRITIS
The cycle between OA, debilitating pain, and obesity is a vicious cycle. Due to the severe joint pain experienced by OA sufferers, many people reduce their physical activity to minimize pain. This causes a dangerous chain reaction, leading to higher rates of disability, management, and obesity. Obesity worsens OA due to the added stress it puts on weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees. This stress causes more pain, resulting in even more limited physical activity. As such, the cruel cycle of pain continues, gradually worsening over time.
DEPRESSION & OSTEOARTHRITIS
One-third of arthritis sufferers over the age of 45 are diagnosed with depression or anxiety. This is due in large part to increased disability and pain fatigue linked to their arthritic pain. As hefty medical costs and physical limitations increase, it is common for mental health to deteriorate. As a result, symptoms of both conditions simultaneously decline.
If you or a loved one are experiencing severe feelings of hopelessness, isolation, or cynicism, we encourage you to contact a healthcare provider for guidance. If you are in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
DIABETES & OSTEOARTHRITIS
Individuals with OA have a 32% increased risk of developing diabetes. This is largely due to the increased risk factors of older age and obesity frequently found in patients of both diseases. The conjunction of these two comorbidities typically leads to increased walking difficulty, ability to exercise, ability to lose weight, and other physical function issues. OA is especially dangerous since it is linked to insulin resistance, collagen production complications, and low bone density.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILITY AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Physical activity is known to benefit those with osteoarthritis and its associated comorbidities. In fact, working moderate aerobic exercise and low-impact movements into your daily routine are excellent for managing existing conditions! Among its many benefits, you will find that it significantly lowers blood pressure, improves physical function, and reduces cholesterol levels.
If you’re still skeptical, take a look at the list of benefits of physical fitness:
- Elevates mood
- Improves weight control
- Strengthens muscles and bones
- Reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other multi-morbidities
- Keeps you energized
- Reduces inflammation
- Promotes neural growth
- Releases feel-good endorphins
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves weight control
- Lowers blood glucose levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves physical function
- Reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels
Be wary of long periods of physical inactivity as well. Not only does it put you at greater risk of complications related to motor function, but the management of existing comorbidities can be increasingly difficult to maintain.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Osteoarthritis is chronic and progressive. There is no cure. Managing the disease and finding ways to maintain your mobility and physical activity is a must to combat and prevent other conditions.
Arthritis Knee Pain Centers® provided a non-surgical, non-opioid solution to decreasing the pain of knee OA. It may be the way to less pain and more movement for you. We’ve helped more than 20,000 patients since 2016. Schedule your FREE, no-obligation knee pain screening today. Visit arthritiskneepain.com.