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Overweight or obesity is not good for overall health we all know, but did you know, excessive weight gain is one of the reasons behind your aching joints? A study of Weight Loss Counseling of Arthritis Patients found that severe joint pain among adults with arthritis in 2014 was reported by 23.5% of adults with overweight and 31.7% of with obesity, you can imagine the count of today then.
The occasional twinge of joint pain that you might be experiencing while walking or climbing stairs is mainly due to the body weight and if you already have arthritis, the pressure doubles up. Obesity ultimately results in Osteoarthritis (OA) because, with the years of carrying around excess weight, the cartilage “cushion” within the joints degenerates with time and the bones then rub against each other, causing irritation, pain, and swelling. The more weight on the joint, the more wear and tear on the cartilage.
Research has shown that, while walking, the weight-bearing joints like hips, knees, and ankles bear 3 to 5 times a person’s total body weight. So for every extra pound, 3 to 5 pounds of extra weight is added to them. Now let’s see how weight loss will improve your joint pain.
1. A relief from pain
Dropping just one pound of weight can lessen the burden of four pounds of pressure from your joints. The more you shed the more you will free your joints from the stress. While your body can’t reverse arthritis or regrow cartilage, losing weight will prevent a lot of damage.
2. An ease from inflammation
Arthritis causes the inflammation of joints which becomes unbearable. Your body fat itself is an active tissue that creates and releases pro-inflammatory chemicals. Hence, your excess fat will only worsen your condition. Weight loss can help manage and lessen the pain, improve function and initiate faster recovery of arthritis.
3. Improves joint function
Obesity and arthritis can make anyone lazy. Extreme physical inactivity will further cause stiffness of the joints. Exercise and diet, when practiced together, has shown proven changes in the arthritis condition. The mechanical pressures that occur inside the joint can be improved with weight loss. Moderate physical activity on most or all days of the week will strengthen joints and bones and even burn up a good amount of calories.
4. Overall health improvement
Weight loss not only will relieve you from joint aches but will also benefit your health overall. It cuts down the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart conditions, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer etc. It helps you breathe easily and have a good night’s sleep. When you feel healthy, your mood stays happy and positive which impacts a lot when living with arthritis.
Weight Loss Tips For Arthritis
Don’t go starving as quick weight loss diets will only gain your weight back within a year. Decrease your unhealthy food and sugar intake. Eat regular balanced meals. Have foods that are rich in calcium, zinc, potassium, fiber, vitamins D, B12, and E. Avoid fried foods. Use spices/herbs to flavor food rather than butter and heavy dressings. Eat non-fat cheeses and yogurt; frozen yogurt instead of ice cream; drink skim or 1% milk. Stay hydrated. Refer our previous blog ‘Manage Arthritis Pain With These Simple Lifestyle Changes‘ for further help.
Get moving. Walk, exercise, play a sport, stay active. Remember nothing can be achieved in a day, slowly and steadily burn your calories and joint pain along with it. Also, go through ‘Joint pain relief measures and how to pick up the right one’ to get some relief from the aching joints.
Have a healthy, pain and disease free life!