Approximately twenty percent of all adults in the United States suffer from knee pain, and more than two out of three Americans are overweight. One of the most common complications of being overweight is knee pain, which can also lead to osteoarthritis. Yet losing even a small amount of weight loss can make a big impact.
Aside from all the other health benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, including the reduced risks of numerous diseases, losing weight helps knee pain by decreasing the weight-bearing pressure on the knees and by reducing inflammation.
The knees take on a force equal to three to six times the body’s weight, so every ten extra pounds exerts an addition of thirty to sixty pounds pressure on the knees. Therefore, they experience more wear and tear from the increased weight, which can result in swollen, stiff, and painful joints.
Additionally, the extra weight can speed up the loss of cartilage in the knees. This tissue acts as a cushion between the bones. When the tissue is damaged, the bones begin to rub against each other, resulting in irritation and inflammation.
However, losing weight can help decrease inflammation in the body. In fact, in one recent study, those who lost at least ten percent of their weight had significantly more relief in both pain and inflammation. Therefore, weight loss is a great solution for easing knee pain and reducing the risk of developing osteoarthritis and cartilage damage.
Some simple changes can help to reduce weight or maintain a healthy one. Watching food portion sizes, eating healthier, and increasing physical activity can make the difference. Additionally, eating foods prepared at home rather than eating out provides better control of what is consumed. Making these changes to manage your weight can help reduce your knee pain and your health risks.
At Spine & Orthopedic Center, we understand that knee pain can affect the quality of your life. If you would like to find out more about how we can help you reduce your knee pain, please contact Spine & Orthopedic Center for an appointment today.