Maintaining a healthy weight has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancers. Losing weight benefits knee pain in two ways:
- Decreases weight-bearing pressure on the knees. Each pound of weight loss can reduce the knee-joint load by four pounds. Lose just 10 pounds, and that�s 40 fewer pounds per step your knees have to support. That might not sound like much, but the results add up quickly. Less pressure means less wear and tear on the knees, thus lowering the risk of OA.
- Reduces inflammation in the body. For years, OA was considered a wear-and-tear disease resulting from prolonged excess pressure on the joints, particularly the knees, which in turn caused inflammation. But recent research suggests that inflammation is a key OA risk factor, rather than a consequence. Being overweight may increase inflammation in the body that can lead to joint pain. One study found that overeating triggers the body�s immune response, which increases inflammation, and that losing weight can reduce this inflammatory response. Another study suggests that just a 10 percent reduction in weight can significantly lower inflammation in the body.
Ways to Lose Weight
Weight loss is the best solution to ease knee pain as well as lower the risk of developing OA. While the idea of losing weight can seem like a daunting task, there are simple steps you can take to start shedding pounds:
- reduce portion sizes
- add one vegetable to your plate
- go for a walk after a meal
- take the stairs rather than the escalator or elevator
- pack your own lunch instead of eating out
- use a pedometer
Taking the necessary steps to manage your weight can help protect your knees from joint pain and reduce your risk of OA.