The knee is the biggest joint in the body. Its main function is to absorb and support most of the body’s weight as you move and perform various physical activities. The knee joint is also the most susceptible to injury and dysfunction, making it crucial to prioritize its care and maintenance.
In managing sudden or chronic knee pain, proper weight management is essential. Excess weight increases the risk of knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. This health risk can lead to more severe and chronic conditions that affect your quality of life over time.
Here’s everything you need to know about the connection between knee pain and weight management and what steps you can take to manage your weight.
The Connection Between Knee Pain and Weight
Knee pain can be traced back to sports injuries and overuse issues. Among these causes is osteoarthritis, or cartilage degeneration between the bones. Arthritis is a common joint condition affecting any part of the body, including the knee. It can also happen at any age. Arthritis is a prevalent condition that affects over 50 million adults and 300,000 children in the US.
Obesity, on the other hand, is also not a new problem in the US. In fact, according to the CDC, over 73.6% of adults over 20 in a recent survey were overweight, including those who had obesity. Excessive body fat can negatively impact your overall body’s systems – including your joint health.
Obesity is also among the major risks for developing osteoarthritis. Due to obesity, the knee joint carries more weight to support the body. However, the more weight on your joint, the more likely it is to cause wear and tear on the cartilage. This often leads to aching and swollen knee joints, eventually leading to knee pain.
Many studies have found that weight and knee pain are related factors. One study even found that people who have obesity are four to five times more likely to get knee arthritis.
However, taking control of your weight can mitigate the symptoms of knee arthritis, including knee pain. According to another recent study, losing just 10 pounds halts knee arthritis development by 50%. Losing weight can reduce knee pain and other symptoms of joint disorders by decreasing stress placed on the joint.
Solutions for Managing Knee Pain and Weight
While losing weight can be a difficult task and an overwhelming lifestyle change, one of its benefits includes managing your knee pain and stopping it from worsening.
There are many exercises and physical therapy options to manage knee pain and reduce weight. Low-impact exercises such as swimming and cycling for a period every week can be beneficial in reducing knee pain. A physical therapist can guide you through flexibility and mobility exercises to take the pressure off your knee joint and reduce knee pain.
Maintaining a healthy weight goes hand in hand with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Evaluating your diet and seeking your healthcare provider for specific dietary recommendations based on your current health status can help manage weight.
Medication to manage weight is also used along with other treatments. A discussion with your healthcare provider can help you find the right medication for your case. Cognitive behavioral therapy can also support your weight management plan by managing your stress and helping you have a positive outlook during your weight loss journey.
It’s essential to remember that every step towards weight management counts, no matter how small they are. While weight management journeys can take a long time, their effects can greatly reduce the risk of developing knee pain and improve your overall health.
Managing Knee Pain in Westlake, OH
At Orthopaedic Associates, Inc., we provide expert orthopedic care for patients of all ages living across the Cleveland, Ohio area. We offer a variety of orthopedic services for you and your family conveniently in our locations in Westlake and Avon so that you don’t have to spend extra time traveling to receive quality orthopedic care. The individualized attention from our highly skilled medical team and staff is a testament to our dedication to giving you and your family the orthopedic care you deserve.
If you or a loved one have concerns about weight management and how it affects knee pain, call us today at (440) 892-1440 or (866) 362-7624. You can also use our online appointment request form to schedule your consultation.
We look forward to serving you!