Effects of obesity on function and quality of life in chronic pain conditions

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2014 Jan;16(1):390. doi: 10.1007/s11926-013-0390-7.


Many people throughout the world have both chronic pain and obesity. Overweight and obese people are more prone to a proinflammatory state manifesting as metabolic syndrome but also to a higher prevalence of chronic pain comorbidities. Obesity and a high body mass index (BMI) are associated with impaired functional capacity and reduced quality of life (QoL) in patients with chronic pain conditions. Systemic inflammation is not only involved in metabolic syndrome but it also initiates and perpetuates chronic pain. Changes in lifestyle, behavior, physical activity, and diet have demonstrated benefits in functional capacity and QoL; therefore, patient assessment should tackle high BMI and metabolic syndrome as part of the treatment of chronic pain. A healthier lifestyle would lead to a lower inflammatory state and consequently to an improvement in function and QoL in overweight or obese patients who have chronic pain conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Arthritis / complications*
  • Arthritis / physiopathology
  • Arthritis / psychology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Chronic Pain / complications*
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Chronic Pain / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / complications*
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / complications*
  • Low Back Pain / physiopathology
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / complications
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / psychology
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Quality of Life*