We put our joints under a lot of stress, day after day. This stress is compounded by carrying around excess weight. Every step you take forces your knee, hip, and ankle joints to brunt the bulk of your body weight, and as time goes on, continued pressure on your joints can really ware down your body.
Osteoarthritis refers to the degeneration of cartilage surround the joints. More than 3 million people in the United States struggle with osteoarthritis, which can make it difficult to walk, stand comfortably and do simple tasks requiring grip or small movements. Increased age and obesity are the two greatest risk factors for developing osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis may be more common than you know, with many residents of Columbus and Central Ohio struggling with chronic joint pain as a result. Medical weight loss programs can reduce the severity of this joint pain by taking the pressure of excess body weight off the joints.
Obesity and Osteoarthritis
Being overweight by just 10 pounds will add an additional 30 pounds of force on the knee joint alone, at minimal. The more overweight a person becomes, the greater this pressure will grow. This pressure continues to increase at every step, making it especially difficult to engage in cardiovascular exercises like walking or jogging. Over time, this pressure can cause cartilage in the knee, which is there to protect the joint, to become fragmented. In the end, doing something as simple as walking around the block while obese will put up to 6 times the amount of pressure on the knee as it would without excess weight.
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According to the arthritis foundation, losing just a marginal amount of weight can have drastic improvements on quality of life with arthritis. Researchers have found that losing even just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference in the amount of pain experienced in the knees and hips.
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While having osteoarthritis makes it difficult to engage in many typical exercise activities, there are alternatives that can support your weight loss efforts. Water exercises, like aqua aerobics, are highly recommended for people who have osteoarthritis and are hoping to lose weight. This form of exercise is done in a pool of water, which will alleviate pressure on the joints while allowing you to move around, increase your heartrate and burn calories.
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Before starting any exercise routine, speak with your weight loss doctor. Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition that is marked by a great deal of pain. Always consult your physician before taking any medications or starting any new workout program.