How Our Weight Can Affect Knee Pain

by | Sep 23, 2011 | News

Harold E. Cates, Jr. M.D.

Have you ever wanted to lose some weight? Perhaps your motivation to shed those extra pounds was an upcoming vacation, wedding or class reunion.
Well, if you experience knee pain associated with osteoarthritis, now there is another great reason to lose that weight. Studies show that people can significantly decrease knee pain by losing as little as 10 pounds.
Let me explain how this works. Our knees are designed to work perfectly under the proper conditions. If we start adding on extra weight, we increase the force we put on our knees which results in those joints literally wearing out. As that cartilage wears away our knee pain increases. Additionally, as our pain increases, our activity levels tend to decrease which can lead to more weight gain! This is a serious cycle that needs to be broken.

So let’s get started losing those pounds! Begin with low impact cardiovascular activities like walking, biking, or swimming at least 3 times per week. These exercises not only help us shed those pounds, they also help strengthen the muscles in our knees.
As you lose those pounds and strengthen those muscles, you can begin to add in more weight bearing exercises and increase your cardiovascular activities as well.
Stay focused! Stay active! Stay informed! Always consult with your physician before starting any new exercise or diet regimen.