Effects of Obesity on Function and Quality of Life in Chronic Pain Conditions

  • Laura-Isabel Arranz
  • Magda Rafecas
  • Cayetano Alegre
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Chronic Pain


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.


Obesity Body mass index BMI Body weight Chronic pain Fibromyalgia Chronic widespread pain Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid arthritis Back pain Quality of life Disability Functionality 



This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or nonprofit sector. The authors are grateful to Rosanna Shand for her help in the linguistic revision of the text.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Laura-Isabel Arranz, Magda Rafecas, and Cayetano Alegre declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura-Isabel Arranz
    • 1
  • Magda Rafecas
    • 2
  • Cayetano Alegre
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Rheumatology Unit Hospital Universitario Quirón DexeusBarcelonaSpain

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