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Can Ozempic Cause Joint & Muscle Pain? What The Science Says

Executive Summary

  • Ozempic is a medication prescribed for type 2 diabetes and popularly prescribed off-label for weight loss.
  • There is currently no research that suggests that taking Ozempic can cause joint and muscle pain, however, there is still room for more research on the subject.
  • If you experience joint or muscle pain while taking Ozempic, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Some ways to manage joint and muscle pain include maintaining a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and sleeping regularly.

Table of Contents

Ozempic and Joint Pain

Ozempic has been surrounded by a lot of hype since users discovered its potential benefits for weight loss. However, jumping into the hype too quickly can leave you without all the necessary information—it’s important to have a complete understanding of how Ozempic may impact your health before you start your journey.

Some people have reported concerns about experiencing joint and muscle pain while taking Ozempic. Joint and muscle pain are not listed as official side effects of the drug, but it’s still a relatively new medication, especially for those using it for weight loss, so there’s still not extensive information about whether these two things may be connected.

Because starting a new medication can cause a variety of changes in your body and your overall lifestyle, any new medication can bring unexpected side effects. Still, there are a variety of causes of joint pain so it’s a good idea to rule out all of the potential factors before attributing it to Ozempic. This guide explores the science behind Ozempic and joint pain so you have all the possible information before starting your regimen.

Ozempic Overview

Ozempic is a medication developed to treat type 2 diabetes by helping to promote healthy blood sugar. However, many people who were prescribed Ozempic quickly discovered that the drug also offered benefits for weight loss.

Although Ozempic is not specifically approved for weight loss, many medical providers will prescribe it “off-label” for this purpose. Ozempic promotes weight loss due to its active ingredient semaglutide, which mimics a hormone in the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1).

By mimicking this hormone, the medication slows stomach emptying and tells the brain that the stomach is full, leading to a reduced appetite that causes you to eat less. As a result, you end up with a reduced calorie intake for weight loss and healthier blood sugar levels. Other semaglutide medications that can be prescribed for weight loss, like Wegovy and Mounjaro, work following the same mechanism.

Although Ozempic is often prescribed for weight loss off-label, it’s generally recognized as safe and is FDA-approved when prescribed for type 2 diabetes. However, as with any medication, there is the potential for side effects.

Side effects listed on Ozempic’s website include:

  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

Although the effects can include pain in the abdominal area, there are no reported side effects associated with joint or muscle pain. Still, every person’s experience taking medications can be different, so it’s important to check in regularly with your doctor regarding any adverse effects you might have.

Joint and Muscle Pain: What Users Have Experienced

Some users have reported experiencing joint pain while taking Ozempic. Currently, though, there is no established link that Ozempic can or has caused joint pain in users. That said, the medication has only been around for a few years, so there is room for more research to be done to highlight whether a potential link exists.

Although clinical trials have not shown any of these side effects, you can find many users on social media platforms who have shared their experience of experiencing joint pain since introducing semaglutide medication into their daily routine. However, other users even say that semaglutide medications have had positive impacts on their inflammation and joint pain.

Ultimately, the key takeaway is that everyone’s bodies and circumstances are different, and it’s impossible to say for sure that Ozempic does or does not cause joint and muscle pain. There can also be a variety of other causes for joint and muscle pain, including concurrent medical conditions, stress injuries, and overexertion. 

All together, the link between joint pain and Ozempic is complex, has many contributing factors, and does not have enough research to make definitive claims.

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Factors That May Cause Joint or Muscle Pain

If you are experiencing unexplained joint pain after starting Ozempic, it’s possible that there may be a link between the two you should discuss with your doctor. There are also many other potential contributing factors, so you should consider other possible influences before attributing pain to Ozempic. Although not an exhaustive list, the following factors can all lead to joint pain.

Underlying Medical Conditions

There are several medical conditions that can lead to joint pain, so it’s possible that your pain may correlate with your timeline for taking Ozempic but actually have a separate cause.

Common conditions that can cause joint pain include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Autoimmune disorders

If you experience lingering joint or muscle pain while taking Ozempic, you should talk to your healthcare provider. Your doctor is the only one who can diagnose potential medical conditions with certainty, and they will help you rule out other possible causes so you can address your pain properly.

Overexertion

If you are working too intensely at the gym or putting your body through a bunch of overtime at work, you’ll almost certainly start to feel it in your joints and muscles. Of course, overexertion is relative—if you are used to exercising regularly, your threshold for activity will be a lot higher. However, if you do not perform a lot of physical activity, then your body’s tolerance for overexertion will be a bit lower.

In either case, you should monitor when you experience joint and muscle pain and whether there is a correlation with your recent activity.

To avoid pain from overexertion, keep the following things in mind:

  • Sleep and recovery are crucial in promoting muscle and joint health after activity, so make sure you’re getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
  • Take full rest days to give your body the chance to recover. 
  • Make sure to perform dynamic stretches before an activity and static stretches after an activity to avoid injury.
  • Don’t work out the same muscle group twice within 48 hours.

Poor Posture & Ergonomics

Poor posture can lead to repeated strain on your muscles and joints, eventually resulting in pain. Putting extra stress on your joints with poor posture can wear down the cartilage in your joints, cause muscle strength imbalances, and lead to tension in your muscles.

For example, focusing too much weight on one leg when you stand can lead to excessive stress on your hip joint, causing deterioration and pain, or consistently slouching in a desk chair can put excess stress on your spine and lower back muscles.

Whether you’re lifting something heavy or sitting repeatedly during the day for a desk job, you should be mindful of your posture—your joints and muscles will thank you for it down the line.

Previous Injury or Trauma

A previous injury to an area can also cause joint or muscle pain. Injuries can damage the cartilage in your joint, surrounding tendons, or supporting muscles. After an injury, you may develop post-traumatic arthritis or a muscle strain. These are usually temporary issues that heal within a few weeks to a few months.

However, pain can pop back up in the future and is often a sign that the previous injury has not fully healed. A doctor may recommend that you visit a physical therapist who can recommend exercises to strengthen the affected area, alleviate pain, and restore full function.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutrition also has a vital role in the health of your joints and muscles. After all, our bodies rely on the nutrients we eat to build, sustain, and repair muscle tissue. If you’re not getting all the nutrients you need in your diet, your body may not have all the resources necessary to keep your joints and muscles functioning as designed.

The following nutrients all have important roles in promoting your joint and muscle health:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin C
  • Protein

Deficiencies in the above nutrients can lead to weakness in your joints and muscles that results in pain or injury. Maintaining a diet that’s rich in lean proteins, nutritious vegetables, and healthy oils will help you get all the nutrients you need. 

Inflammation is also a key contributor to joint and muscle pain—you should be careful to keep inflammatory foods like sugar, saturated fats, and processed oils out of your diet.

Natural Aging

As we age, our bodies become less resilient and the cartilage in our joints can begin to break down, also known as osteoarthritis—this breaks down the natural cushion that exists between the bones in the joint and leads to pain. 

At the same time, the muscles around the joint begin to weaken, which takes away crucial support for stabilizing and projecting the joint. Both mechanisms can lead to joint pain as bone rubs against bone.

How To Address Your Ozempic Concerns

Although joint and muscle pain is not listed as a possible side effect of Ozempic, some users may still want to be cautious. It’s never a bad idea to take steps to promote your joint and muscle health.

If you have concerns about joint or muscle pain while taking Ozempic, you should consider incorporating the following habits and lifestyle factors:

  • Regular exercise
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Routine sleep
  • Proper posture and ergonomics

However, there is no substitute for proper medical guidance—if you experience joint pain that doesn’t resolve itself, you should contact your doctor for support on what steps you should take to ensure your joint and muscle health.

Manage Joint & Muscle Pain with a Holistic Approach

Currently there is no evidence that links joint or muscle pain with taking Ozempic. However, everyone is different, so if you experience joint or muscle pain while taking Ozempic, you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible for guidance.

If you’re concerned about side effects while taking Ozempic, remember that Ozempic is not the only solution to long-term weight loss. At re:vitalize weight loss and wellness, our programs focus on eating anti-inflammatory, nutritious whole foods and building lasting habits so you can sustain long-term weight loss and overall wellness. 

Most of all, our programs offer peace of mind, as there are no side effects to healthy eating, unless you count more energy, healthier muscles and joints, and easier weight management.

Contact our team today to schedule a 1:1 consultation and learn more about how our programs can transform your weight loss journey.

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Dan Lemoine

Meet the Author Dan LeMoine

Dan is passionate about helping others get healthy and reclaim their best lives. In addition to serving as re:vitalize’s CEO, Dan is a certified holistic nutritionist, with board certifications from both The American Association of Drugless Practitioners and the American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board. He and Dr. Abood co-authored their book, Fear No Food, which became an Amazon #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release. Dan’s thought leadership on weight loss, nutrition, and metabolic health has been featured in various outlets like Fox News, Delish.com, 247Health, Prevention, MSN, and Sports Illustrated. Originally from Ohio, Dan and his wife Danae (also a nutritionist and co-founder of re:vitalize) moved to Phoenix in 2017 to open re:vitalize’s Arizona locations.
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