Being overweight also contributes to joint pain. This is particularly the case with knees, which have to bear the brunt of much of your body weight.
But it’s not just the extra weight on joints that’s causing damage. The fat itself is active tissue that creates and releases chemicals, many of which promote inflammation.
Losing even 10% of your body weight will reduce your risk of developing a serious knee problem. However, being overweight is one of the biggest risk factors in developing osteoarthritis because it speeds up the breakdown in cartilage.
Every pound of excess weight exerts about 4 pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees. “So if you think about all the steps you take in a day, you can see why it would lead to premature damage in weight-bearing joints,” says Dr. Matteson.
That’s why people who are overweight are at greater risk of developing arthritis in the first place. And once a person has arthritis, “the additional weight causes even more problems on already damaged joints,” says Dr. Matteson.
To keep muscles, joints and tendons healthy, we have to move our bodies. Regular exercise strengthens the knee joint and the muscles in the thigh to provide us with solid support in the lower body.
It’s best to choose low-impact activities that don’t stress the knee. “Anyone can start walking, we don’t recommend running if you’re carrying extra weight.” Other useful forms of low-impact exercise include:
Swimming and water workouts,
Yoga, Cycling, Rowing
If you are uncertain what your body is capable of, consult a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.
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