I know it’s not fashionable to tell people that excessive weight can affect their health, but as a medical professional, it’s my job.
Everyone knows the health risks associated with carrying around too much weight – diabetes, heart disease and the usual culprits. But it’s important to think about the effect it has on your joints, too.
Your joints are designed specifically to support the wholeness of your body by forming the skeletal system. When the body they were designed for (uniquely) exceeds its maximum load, there’s going to be additional wear and tear on this crucial support system.
That’s why elevators display the maximum weight they can bear. Your body has its limits, too and one of them is the amount of pressure which can be brought to bear on the joints (especially in the knees). Let’s discuss why weight matters when it comes to knee pain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70% (that’s nudging 3/4s) of Americans are overweight. Many of that number are obese. They are asking their joints to accommodate much more weight than they were designed to.
When a person’s bearing extra weight, the additional pressure this represents can produce inflammation and with it, pain. Wear and tear accelerates and with time, cartilage damage arising can lead to arthritis, which limits mobility and causes stiffness and pain.
The hardworking knees.
Your knees matter in this regard, because they’re the hardest working joints in the human body. When you’re climbing the stairs with extra weight, for example, you’re putting a burden on them that can cause a lot of pain and may require surgical intervention.
In fact, whether going up the stairs, or down, the pressure exerted on your knee joints is that of two or three times your body weight, being distributed in these joints – for all of us.
Just add extra weight.
Love your knees.
So, while discussing the heath implications of weight isn’t fashionable, but it’s necessary from a clinical standpoint. We’re talking about the health of your joints. Healthy joints give you the gift of unhindered mobility. Unhealthy joints slowly rob you of that gift.
And you know what I’m going to say next. Knee pain in people who aren’t over 60 is usually caused by excessive weight. Whether you’re reading this because you have knee pain, or because you’re concerned about developing it due to overweight, you need to think about reducing the burden on your joints.
Consider that a study has recently revealed that reducing your weight by only 1 pound relieves 4 pounds of pressure on your knees. That’s a great return on investment!
I know it’s not an easy topic for a lot of people, but weight matters when it comes to knee pain. If you have knee pain now, losing even a little weight will help. If you’re worried that your weight may provoke knee pain, the same is true.
At Back & Body Medical, we care about your health. Contact us for more about weight and knee pain.