The stress on your joints increases along with your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent osteoarthritis, while gaining weight speeds up joint deterioration.
Your weight makes such a difference to the pain and damage caused by arthritis that exercise and weight loss are an essential part of the treatment plans that our team at iMed Regeneration Center creates.
Every joint endures the strain of repetitive movement, but some joints also carry the stress of your body weight.
Your legs and hips, the major weight-bearing joints, absorb the pressure of your body weight every time you walk, run, and jump. Your lower spine supports your upper body weight, making it vulnerable to osteoarthritis and adding more stress to your hips as they transfer the load from your upper body to your lower body.
Though your joints are remarkable in their ability to absorb and distribute the weight, putting on additional pounds tips the balance, leading to joint damage and muscle strain.
The stress of being overweight affects your joints by:
When walking, the pressure on your knees is 3-6 times your body weight. If you gain 10 pounds, your knees take on the pressure of 30-60 pounds. Imagine the impact on your joints when every step you take during the day causes that much stress.
Your joints can offset the added pressure up to a point, but before long, it takes a toll and damages the joint’s muscles, ligaments, and cartilage.
Fat cells are highly active, producing and releasing hormones and biochemicals that travel through your body and cause health problems. Some substances that fat cells release cause inflammation.
In addition to causing joint inflammation, these substances aggravate inflammation that’s already in the joint due to arthritis. Overweight people with rheumatoid arthritis experience more joint pain than those with a healthy weight.
Though all the structures in your joints feel the strain of excess body weight, articular cartilage bears the burden. The firm, rubbery cartilage protects the ends of bones and creates a smooth surface that lets the bones move without rubbing together.
Articular cartilage also absorbs shock and transfers the pressure to other structures. As a result, all the structures in the joint share the stress, preventing one part from taking on more than it’s built to tolerate.
As you gain weight, the articular cartilage becomes damaged and wears down. That’s the start of osteoarthritis. If you already have osteoarthritis, putting on weight accelerates articular cartilage degeneration.
If you don’t have osteoarthritis, losing 10 pounds reduces your risk by at least 50%. For those who already have arthritis, losing weight can’t reverse the existing joint damage, but it can slow or stop ongoing cartilage deterioration. Dropping the extra weight also dramatically improves your joint pain.
If you’re ready to lose weight or need treatment for arthritis, we can help. We specialize in nutrition counseling and offer personalized physical rehabilitation, including creating an exercise regimen that promotes weight loss without hurting your joints.
In addition to supporting your weight loss, we provide chiropractic care that eases your joint pain and reduces inflammation. Chiropractic techniques improve your overall health, making it easier for you to stick with your weight loss plan.
If you need help for aching, painful joints, don’t wait to connect with our team at iMed Regeneration Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Call or book online today.