A new study published this month in The Journal of Pain found that as little as a 10 percent reduction in body weight helps obese pain patients reduce chronic pain.
Several previous studies have shown that people who are obese tend to have higher levels of pain.
But pain related to obesity is usually associated with joint and weight-bearing body parts such as knees, hips and lower back.
The new study found that reducing body weight in obese patients can help improve not only joint pain but also abdominal, arm, chest and jaw pain.
Study participants also reported that weight reduction improved their mental health, energy and thinking.
In 2017, West Virginia had an adult obesity rate of almost 38 percent.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Marshall Health, Charleston Area Medical Center and WVU Medicine.