Knee pain sufferers: may we have your attention, please! Good news for those millions of Americans who suffer on a daily basis from knee pain – experts have concluded that one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and suffering from your knees is to lose excess weight. Which is great news to those individuals who have struggled for years searching for an affordable, effective and healthy way to manage their knee pain.
One of the most common complications of being overweight or obese is chronic knee pain. The vast majority of individuals who suffer from chronic knee pain may benefit immensely from even the slightest bit of weight loss, says a report from the Institute of Medicine. The report reveals that more than 61 million adult Americans, or nearly 20 percent of American adults, suffer from chronic knee pain. That is second only to complaints of lower back pain. This number reiterates the fact that more than two-thirds of all Americans are considered to be overweight (or a BMI between 25 and 29.9) or even obese (BMI of 30 or higher).
The extra weight that comes from being overweight increases unnecessary weight on the knee joints, which leads to chronic pain and other complications such as osteoarthritis in the knees.
The Effects of Weight Loss on Knee Pain
Weight loss has many proven benefits for sufferers of knee pain. Maintaining a healthy weight has long since been associated with a reduced risk of many chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and of course high blood pressure. But what many people do not know is that it also offers many inherent benefits to the joints, including those in the knee.
Losing weight benefits the knee and reduces knee pain in two ways:
- Reduction of inflammation. Losing weight is associated with reduced inflammation in the body. In the past, osteoarthritis was known to be a type of ‘wear-and-tear disease’ that resulted from a prolonged surplus of pressure on the body’s joints (the knees in particular), which lead to excessive inflammation. However, today we know that inflammation is in fact a risk factor associated with osteoarthritis, not a consequence of it. That being said, being overweight plays a vital role in increasing the inflammation of the knee joints, which in turn can lead to knee pain. Some experts suggest that overeating can actually trigger an immune response within the human body, which may cause an increase of inflammation. Recent studies suggest that a mere 10 percent loss in weight can significantly lower this immune response and thus considerably reduce inflammation of the knee joints.
- Decreased pressure on the knees. It is said that for each pound of weight lost, there is as much as a four pound reduction in the knee-joint load. That means for a seemingly small 10 pounds of weight lost the weight that you bear on your knees with each given step is 40 pounds fewer than before! In the long run, less pressure on the knee joints results in less wear-and-tear on the knees their self and therefore a lowered risk of osteoarthritis.
The Effects of Weight Gain on Knee Pain
Since carrying excess weight increases both risk factors associated with osteoarthritis and knee pain, being overweight, therefore significantly increases one’s odds of developing the disease. Men who are overweight are five times more likely to develop osteoarthritis, while overweight women are four times more likely to develop it than men and women of a considered “healthy weight”. Being overweight not only increases the risk of developing OA, but it also considerably increases the chances that you will struggle with chronic knee pain. In fact, one study found that for an overweight woman each 11 pounds of weight loss would reduce her risk of developing knee OA by greater than 50 percent! That means lose 10 pounds and you are half as likely to struggle with knee pain. The same study suggests that men who drop from the obese and overweight category into the “healthy weight” category will reduce their risk of developing knee OA by 21.5 percent.
Simple Ways to Lose Weight
There are many easy ways to lose weight and thus reduce your knee pain. Since weight loss is arguably one of the most effective, affordable and healthy ways to ease knee pain, in addition to being a highly constructive way to lower the risk of knee OA, it is therefore a reliable solution to knee pain problems.
The idea of weight loss may seem counterproductive for those individuals who are struggling with chronic knee pain, but believe it or not there are many targeted exercises and other steps that can be put into play that may significantly reduce knee pain.
A few simple ways that you can get a head start on shedding some extra pounds include:
- Limiting portion sizes
- Going for short brisk walks after meals
- Adding at least one vegetable to every meal
- Take the stairs as opposed to the elevator or escalator
- Use a pedometer to track daily steps
- Bring your lunch to work instead of eating out
- Consult your physician about aerobics, yoga, or other exercises hobbies that you might be able to partake in
The best way to protect your knees and joints from pain and the possible development of OA is to take necessary steps in order to manage your weight.
Epic Healthcare – Your Start to a Healthy Weight and Relief from Knee Pain
If you are ready to rid your life of your chronic knee pain, then the best place to start is by losing excess weight.
Talk with your Epic Healthcare professional today to formulate a plan to get your weight on track and your knee pain under control. Call today at (972) 355-0083!