The crucial connection
Weight control is particularly important for people with osteoarthritis. Excess weight directly contributes to the development of osteoarthritis. Weight control not only helps prevent osteoarthritis, it is an important element in your treatment of the disease as well. The following simple yet interesting facts will help you understand the crucial and critical link between your body weight the health of your bones and joints specifically when you have a serious disorder such as osteoarthritis.
Body weight & arthritis – Some interesting facts
- While the cause of osteoarthritis is not yet known, but certain weight gain or obesity certainly increases the risk of developing osteoarthritis.
- While osteoarthritis can affect any joint, but it is most common in the hands, feet, spine, and in large, “weight-bearing” joints such as the hips and knees.
- Increased body weight is a serious factor in the development of osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees, which carry the brunt of weight day in and day out.
- Weight control is important for prevention of and to slow the progression of osteoarthritis affecting the weight-bearing joints (knees and hips) and low back.
- Over 294,000 or 1 in 250 young people under 18 years are affected by arthritis
- For every pound a person gains, add 3 pounds of pressure on the knees and six times the pressure on the hips.
- Likewise, losing as few as 11 pounds can cut the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent for some women.
- Similarly, for every one pound of weight lost, there is a four pound reduction in the load exerted on the knee for each step taken during daily activities.
- Weight loss of only 15 pounds can cut knee pain in half for overweight individuals with arthritis.
- Physical activity (as performed to lose weight or as a part of overall weight loss program) keeps joints flexible and maintains or improves muscle strength.
- Studies also show that people who lost an average of 57 pounds of their body weight, significantly improved their knee pain, stiffness and physical function within the first six months.
- Since weight gain gradually increases the stress on joints, the weight gain the decade before a person has OA symptoms, particularly in middle age, plays a big role in determining if they will have OA.
- Maintaining an acceptable body weight is one of the key treatment goals in therapy against osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis patients who are overweight or obese need to lose weight. Weight loss can reduce stress on weight-bearing joints and limit further injury. While a dietitian or nutritionist can help patients develop healthy eating habits, healthy diet and regular exercise help reduce weight.