Losing Weight Can Relieve Joints And Osteoarthritis

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Extra weight puts added stress on joints – particularly the knees, hips, and ankles. This accelerates the loss of joint cartilage, which leads to bone-on-bone contact and painful osteoarthritis.

Losing weight reduces joint stress. Each pound of weight lost takes nearly four pounds of extra stress off knee joints and six pounds off hips. And this can slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

Orthopedic surgeon Michael Raab, MD, adds, “If you lose weight there will be less force across the joint, and it won’t hurt as much.”

“Most studies show, and I would confirm, that people with a BMI (body mass index) above what it should be do have a higher incidence of knee arthritis and knee pain,” says orthopedic surgeon Matthew Lawless, MD. “The good news with that is that losing weight can oftentimes help reduce the knee pain.”

Dr. Raab explains that losing weight can slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

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Talk with your health care provider about eating right and increasing your physical activity, to help you lose weight. Exercise can improve muscle strength (which takes some of stress from joints), decrease joint pain and stiffness, and lower your chance of disability from osteoarthritis.

Weight loss also is essential when your doctor recommends that you have joint replacement surgery, and you are obese with a body mass index over 40.

“Typically, patients are not considered a candidate for a joint replacement if their body mass index, or BMI, is over 40, because the risk of the surgery increases above 40,” Dr. Raab says.

Maintaining a healthy weight is also a preventive measure, reducing the risk of developing osteoarthritis in the knees and hips – as well as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and coronary artery disease.

It's easy to get the care you need.

See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.