As the number of knee replacement surgeries across the globe continues to skyrocket thanks to constant joint pain and other problematic factors, it makes sense that we should begin looking at the connection between weight loss and joint pain. While your knee compression sleeve might reduce some of your daily discomforts in regards to joint pain, regular twinges whenever you climb the stairs or go for a walk, then this could be a sign that you need to look closer into the factors that could be causing your condition.
Knee pain and arthritis in the joints is one of the most common complications of being obese, or overweight. If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from chronic joint pain, then addressing the link between weight loss and joint pain, and committing to shedding any extra pounds could help to ease your suffering.
Connecting Weight Loss and Joint Pain
A study conducted by the Institute of Medicine found that almost 20% of all American adults (61 million people), currently suffer from joint pain related to the knees. In fact, knee discomfort is second only to back pain in regards to the number of people affected. If the number seems high, consider the fact that over two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and you might begin to see a connection. After all, every extra pound increases the stress that your knees have to manage when you go about your daily activities - climbing stairs, walking to work, running, and more.
When you walk across level ground, the force placed on your knees is equivalent to around one and a half times your complete body weight. In other words, a man that weighs two hundred pounds places three hundred pounds' worth of pressure on his knees with every step. Add an incline or resistance force into the mix, and the pressure become greater, raising to two or three times your body weight when you walk up and down stairs, and four to five times your body weight when you squat to pick up a pencil or tie your shoelace.
While a knee compression sleeve can certainly help to offer support - just look at the way this compression solution has stopped a 24-ton building from collapsing - that doesn't mean you shouldn't be taking steps to reduce the amount of support your knees need in the first place. After all, the less pressure your knees have to deal with, the less joint pain you should experience.
Weight Loss and Joint Pain: Tackling the Problem
Maintaining a healthy weight is something that comes with numerous health benefits, including reduced risk factors for various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even some forms of cancer. However, losing weight also has another benefit for those who suffer from regular joint pain: it can act as a form of permanent relief.
According to a recent study, people who lost weight reported around a 51% reduction in the amount of pain felt around the knees, as well as other benefits such as reduced inflammation and greater energy levels. The reasons for this are:
1. Weight loss decreases the amount of pressure that is placed on your knees. Each pound you lose equals four pounds of reduced pressure on the knee joint. What's more, this reduced strain means less wear and tear in the joint, reducing your risk of suffering from osteoarthritis.
2. Weight loss reduces inflammation in the body - For years, experts considered osteoarthritis to be a disease that occurred as a result of prolonged pressure on the joints. However, key research has also found that inflammation may be a significant risk factor in the development of OA. Being overweight leads to greater inflammation in the body that might lead to joint pain. What's more, one study has even found that overeating triggers the immune response in the body, which leads to greater inflammatory responses.
Weight Loss and Joint Pain: Osteoarthritis
Because being overweight not only causes joint pain, but also increases the amount of strain the joint has to manage on a daily basis, and leads to excessive amounts of inflammation, carrying extra pounds significantly enhances a person's risk of developing osteoarthritis. According to studies, women are up to four times more likely to suffer from OA when overweight, while overweight men are five times more likely than people with a healthy weight.
Fortunately, losing even the smallest amount of weight can be beneficial in these circumstances. For overweight women, every eleven pounds lost reduces the risk of suffering from OA by over fifty percent, and for obese men who drop into the normal weight category, the risk of knee OA can be reduced by 21.5% On top of that, losing a significant amount of weight has been shown to reduce the loss of knee cartilage in obese people, meaning that you're less likely to suffer from permanent damage to the joint.
How to Lose Weight, and Reduce Joint Pain
The best methods for losing weight and reducing joint pain involve using a knee compression sleeve to help you engage in regular bouts of physical activity. Frequent exercise not only improves your mobility and helps to boost your overall health, but it's fantastic at helping you to achieve those all-important weight loss goals.
Of course, stepping up your exercise regimen isn't enough by itself - you also need to think about your diet. Every pound that you want to shed represents around 3,500 calories, which means that if you want to lose a pound a week, you need to get rid of up to 500 calories a day. While exercise can help you burn off those unwanted calories, reducing the amount of calories that you consume in the first place is also a great place to start. After all, it's much easier to cut down the amount of calories you eat, than it is to burn those calories through exercise - particularly when you suffer with frequent joint pain.
Addressing Weight Loss and Joint Pain
While we all know how important it is to maintain a healthy weight, we don't always make the connection between weight loss and joint pain. If you already suffer from chronic knee discomfort, remember to avoid impact exercises like running, and sports that include regular fast-paced changes in direction. Instead, use your knee compression sleeve during periods of swimming, cycling, and resistance training to help you banish those unwanted pounds.