Weight Matters

By on November 29, 2017
Knee pain

by Tami Mungenast CPT, CNWC

The link between weight and knee pain. 

Did you know that for every extra pound of weight you are carrying on your body, you are putting 4 extra pounds on your knees? If a person is 25 lbs. overweight that is 100 extra lbs. of weight on your knees. If you think about all the steps you take every day, you will see how extra weight can prematurely and painfully wear out your joints. With nearly seven out of ten Americans being overweight, it is no wonder that Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease in the USA with over 27 million adults suffering from it.

Joints are the connections in the body where the bones come together and enable us to move our bodies in ways that allow us to do everything from walking to writing. When the joints become damaged our day to day life can suffer.

Being overweight puts additional stress on weight bearing joints like the knee and hips, but it can also increase inflammatory factors in the body which add to painful joints throughout the body. Fat is a tissue that creates and releases chemicals which promote inflammation in the body. These chemical can influence the development of Osteoarthritis. Achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition can help lighten the stress on the joints as well as significantly reduce the inflammation of joints.

The benefits of weight loss are quadrupled for those who suffer with Osteoarthritis. Even modest weight loss can significantly lighten the load on your joints especially the knees. Losing one pound of weight will reduce 4,800 lbs. off the knees for every mile walked. (According to Stephen Messier PhD Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism 7/05). If a person was to lose 10 lbs. each knee would be relieved of 48,000 lbs. per mile walked.  Studies show that if a woman loses 11 lbs. of weight, she can reduce her risk of knee Osteoarthritis by more than 50%.

Healthy weight loss can be achieved with a diet rich in whole foods, smart carbohydrates, reducing/eliminating sugar and flour, healthy proteins and fats. Regular exercise can also decrease weight, body fat, and help improve joint health.

For help with improving your diet and beginning an exercise program consult with your doctor.