Can weight loss reduce pain in knee joint?
Over the years, weight gain has been associated with many diseases, including obesity, heart attacks, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and joint pains, etc. Many people have therefore become health conscious and are striving hard to maintain a healthy weight that will keep them void of health complications. However, weight loss often involves a process, which many people find time consuming, challenging and even painful. Well, if losing weight is painful, then not losing the extra pounds could even become more painful, especially in the joints.
It has been scientifically proven that Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent conditions that results from obesity and overweight. It should be noted that Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease, which is also the most chronic joint condition characterized by pain, tenderness, stiffness as well as loss of flexibility among other symptoms.
Moreover, medical experts have also revealed that overweight people are likely to suffer pain in the joints in the lower part of the body, notably the knee joints and the hip joints. According to Robert Bolash, who is one of the specialists at the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management, the joints in the lower part of the body bear most of the body’s load. Thus, according to him, a few years of carrying excessive body weight could result in aching, swollen, and stiffness in both the knee and hip joints. Besides, he further asserted that if overweight is not well handled in time, it could result in full blown Osteoarthritis.
It is worthy to note that with Osteoarthritis, the cartilage also known as cushion within the joint often degenerates, thereby causing the bones to rub against each other. Of course, the more weight on the joint, the more wear and tear on the cartilage and this often results in pain, swelling and irritation. It is therefore imperative to maintain healthy weight. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, who is also Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center asserted that if overweight people lose as little weight as 11 pounds, the progression of the knee joint pains or knee Osteoarthritis could reduce as much as by 50 percent.
Several studies have also revealed that overweight people are more at risk of developing Osteoarthritis than people who are not overweight. According to the findings from one study, people who are obese or have a body mass index (BMI) of between 30 and 35 are four to five times more likely to get arthritis in their knee.
People with weight-induced knee joint pain can therefore ease the symptoms by losing weight as well as taking stress of their joint. Even though the body can neither reverse arthritis nor regrow cartilage, losing weight can help arthritic knee joints feel better. Besides, it can also prevent further damage.
However, the best treatment for weight related knee joint pain is to stop it before it even starts. You can therefore protect both your knees and hips from long term pain by lightening your body weight. That said, if you intend to lose your body weight in a bid to avoid knee joint pain, then you should get started as soon as possible. But before you start on your weight loss journey, it is important for you to first of all, know your body mass index (BMI) as well as the circumference of your waist.
Even though there are many methods of losing weight, I will highlight a few tips that can help you reduce weight for the optimal health of your knees and other joints in the body.
Water exercises are one of the best ways through which people can lighten up. However, swimming, water aerobics as well as walking laps are good options for people suffering from knee joint pain. This assertion can be explained by the fact that while in the water, the body floats, thereby taking much of the weight off the joints. Hence, moving them does not hurt as much as other exercises. Moreover, water also provides some sort of resistance, which makes it possible to activate muscles without necessarily burdening the joints.
Stretching is another form of exercise which is recommended for people with knee joint pain. The reason is that stretching can help improve flexibility, increase the range of motion as well as reduce stiffness. It is apparent that stretching often involves slow and gentle movements of the joints in the knee, hands and elbows. Besides, stretching will also result in weight reduction, even though the ideal routine varies from person to person, depending on the particular joints affected and the symptoms experienced. That said, a typical stretching routine involves 3 to 5 minutes of warming up by walking in place or pumping the arms while sitting or standing, 10 to 20 seconds of holding each stretch before releasing it, as well as 2 to 3 minutes of repeating each stretch.
Walking is another low impact form of exercise which is recommended for people with aerobic conditioning, as well as heart and joint health issues. Even though walking sounds basic and like something very easy to do, it could be very challenging for people suffering from joint related issues and pain. Thus, it is advisable to first of all begin by walking slowly, even though you could eventually increase your pace when possible. In addition, it is imperative to wear warm shoes and equally stay hydrated before indulging in a walking exercise, even if you do not consider it strenuous.
People with knee joint pain or different forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis should endeavor to involve themselves in cycling activities. The truth is that if your joint pain is caused by arthritis, then you are at a higher risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. Thus, it is vital to also keep the heart as healthy as possible. It should be noted that riding a stationary bike is not only a safe way of getting the joints moving, but it also improves cardiovascular fitness. Aside from improving aerobic conditioning, cycling could also reduce stiffness, increase the range of motion and leg strength, thereby building endurance.
Even though these exercises listed above as well as many others can help in reducing weight and weight associated with knee joint pain, it is imperative to adopt the right attitude in a bid to achieve your desired objectives. First of all, you need to be consistent with the exercise you opt to do. Even though some days are more stressful or less comfortable than others, it is still possible to adjust the intensity of the chosen exercise accordingly. In addition, you should also endeavor to buy the right sports accessories that give you comfort while you are exercising. For instance, choose the right shoes that provide the right protection and balance. Also, you should opt for comfortable clothes that wick sweat away easily and if you decide to do yoga, do not just buy any yoga mat, but rather settle for a slip resistant yoga mat for your ultimate protection.
Decreasing Knee Pain by 58%