Reducing Body Mass Index Can Reduce Pain And Inflammation Related To Knee Osteoarthritis
The above research is a simple sampling of the debate in the medical community as to the benefit of losing weight before knee replacement. In our practice we want to help people avoid knee replacement through our various regenerative injection techniques and whole body wellness. This includes diet for weight loss and inflammation reduction.
The management of inflammation is a very important part of our practice. Not just knee inflammation, but chronic body wide inflammation.
Here is a December 2018 study which suggests that knee osteoarthritis patients should reduce their Body Mass Index with a high fiber diet and thereby reduce C-protein inflammatory markers. This come from researchers at Boston University School of Medicine.
In this study, the researchers wanted to examine the extent to which BMI and dietary fiber influenced the relationship between inflammation and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
Who was in the study?
Men and women with or at risk of knee osteoarthritis
Two groups: Persons whose fiber intake was more than 21 grams daily were compared with those with intakes were less than 21 grams daily for the overall association with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.
The researchers found that dietary fiber or more than 21 grams daily helped reduce body weight and helped reduce inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein declines.
The conclusion? Reducing Body Mass Index can reduce pain and inflammation related to knee osteoarthritis
Fill Up On Foods That Fight Inflammation
Those mostly come from plants, like veggies and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, and herbs and spices. An anti-inflammatory diet is helpful for anyone who is trying to lose weight, but its particularly important if you have arthritis, says Robin Foroutan, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These foods can help your body better manage normal inflammation, as well as help it put out the excess inflammation that comes with inflammatory arthritis.
Anti-inflammatory foods also indirectly support weight loss by boosting energy levels, improving digestion, and supporting decreased food consumption because these foods are more filling, says registered dietitian Cat Taylor, LD, CSSD, with Nutrition on Demand.
Million Pounds Of Pressure Can Be Eliminated On Your Knees If You Lost Just 10 Pounds
For every extra 1 pound of weight, experts estimate that your knees feel the force of 3 pounds of pressure. Think about how many steps you take each day. The average person takes about 5 to 6 thousand steps per day. Therefore, 5 thousand steps and 10 extra pounds of body-weight combine to generate 150 thousand pounds of pressure on the knees each day. Now do the math, yearly that would equal over 54 million pounds of pressure that could be eliminated if you lost 10 pounds. Of course, this is just an estimate. Each individuals amount of pressure would be a little different because of anatomy, gait, and footwear plus the number of steps they take each day.
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Does Losing Weight Help Joint Pain
Regardless of the underlying cause of your knee pain, losing weight will almost certainly provide some level of pain relief. Many of the steps you need to be successful in a weight loss program can also help improve joint health. The elements of overall wellness like eating a healthy diet, cutting stress where possible, increasing your levels of physical activity, and working to build lean muscle mass all play a role in helping to reduce joint pain.
Relieving some of the pain you are experiencing may also allow you to be more physically active, which can help stabilize your knees, potentially further reducing your levels of pain. Hip stability can be built through even small amounts of low-impact activities. These kind of exercises can build strength in your hips, legs, and ankles to begin correcting poor knee alignment, which may contribute to pain. Musculoskeletal stability in the weight bearing joints like the knees is influenced by strength and conditioning of muscles throughout the body.
Best Exercises For Knee Pain
The quadriceps are the main muscles that support the knees. Weak quads can lead to knee instability, which increases wear and tear. So strong quads play an important role in knee function and pain rehabilitation. A 2019 study showed that weak quadriceps are universal in people with knee osteoarthritis and may be a modifiable risk factor.
Hamstrings are another important muscle group supporting the knee and should be emphasized. Each person’s pain level, fitness level, and underlying medical condition are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all list of best exercises for knee pain.
Low-impact exercises that help stretch and strengthen the knee and supporting muscles are generally best for people with knee pain.
Exercises to consider include
Yoga and Pilates have been shown to be beneficial in increasing overall knee strength without overextending the joints.
Finally, you should start exercising slowly and gradually build up to increasing weight, duration, or reps.
Don’t ignore pain. Pain is a sign you should stop the exercise you’re doing. And don’t overdo it. Overdoing exercise can cause a setback to recovery.
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How Much Of Quality Life Is Lost To Patients With Knee Pain To Obesity To A Combination Of Knee Pain And Obesity
Researchers writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine sought to answer these questions. They looked at subjects between the ages of 50 and 84 and sought to estimate quality-adjusted life-years lost due to obesity and knee osteoarthritis and health benefits of reducing obesity prevalence to levels observed in the 1990s when obesity was much less prevalent.
Here is what they found:
Non-obese patients with knee pain from osteoarthritis almost 1.9 years quality life-years lost.
For patients with both osteoarthritis knee pain and obesity 3.5 years of quality life lost.
Specifics On Cardiovascular Exercise For Weight Loss
In an earlier blog I spoke on load progression, but today I want to take you through some specifics for the knee. Obviously, I can only give generic advice over a blog and individual knees will require specific exercises. If you do feel like you need tailored advice, we can help you online, via a video consultation.
To get started, trial some gentle cardiovascular work to help stimulate weight loss. You want to begin with exercises that wont load the knee too much. Two cardiovascular exercises to help this would be walking in a heated pool and stationary biking:
- Hydrotherapy can be complicated as there are many exercises you can do in the pool. I like to start my clients just walking up and down, as fast as possible, and walking sideways and backwards. The key here is not to do massive amounts at the start. The reason is that your knee will feel great in the water but may hurt when you get out and gravity starts working again.
- Stationary bike riding can be a life-saver if you have the knee range to get a full rotation. Some tips for this, is to put the seat slightly higher than you need it. If you belong to a gym, try the recumbent bike, as this can be easier to begin with.
National guidelines would recommend 30 minutes of exercise a day! If you are new to exercising in general though have a look at an earlier blog on motivation to live an active lifestyle. This will help to give you some general pointers. Aim to start at even 15 minutes a day and slowly build up.
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Exercises To Avoid If You Have Knee Pain
Rather you are at a healthy weight, overweight, or obese, avoid the following exercises if you have sore knees:
- Deep Squats
We understand that knee pain can make it difficult to exercise. With that said, if you are overweight and want to start exercising but could use some extra support, this knee brace is a comfortable way to reduce knee pain, discomfort, and stress.
Study On Weight Loss Counseling Arthritis Patients
A CDC study found that healthcare professionals counseling for weight loss for adults with arthritis who are overweight or have obesity increased from approximately 35% in 2002 to 46% in 2014. Still, more than half of adults who have arthritis and weigh more than recommended are not receiving healthcare professional counseling to lose weight.
Healthcare professionals should talk to their patients about physical activity and nutrition options to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
A healthcare professional can talk to a patient with arthritis about weight loss options.
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One Diet Versus Another There Are Results
A June 2021 paper examined worsening knee osteoarthritis outcomes in the association between dietary factors and risk of knee osteoarthritis. Here 2,842 participants with at least one knee free from radiographic knee osteoarthritis at baseline for up to 72 months was observed to determine if any knee osteoarthritis developed that could be at least in part be attributed to weight and obesity.
Results: Among study participants, 385 developed knee osteoarthritis within 72 months. Following a Western dietary pattern was associated with an increased risk of knee osteoarthritis, while adherence to the prudent pattern was associated with a reduced risk of knee osteoarthritis
Excess Weight Can Be A Cause Of Knee Pain
If you are having pain in the knees, check the scale. Weight can be a big culprit in knee joint discomfort and pain. Whats more, surgery to fix a bad knee will not work if you are obese and sedentary. Even that extra 10 pounds you have been meaning to lose can make a difference. Heres why.
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It All Starts With Eating The Right Foods
While there is no specific diet that people with osteoarthritis should follow, researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation and helps with weight loss. Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet which emphasizes: Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil. Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods. Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month. People who follow the Mediterranean diet say they eat as much as they want and maintain a healthy weight.
For persistent pain that is interfering with your daily activities, see a rheumatologist to make the correct diagnosis and begin the proper treatment.
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Ditch The Potato Chips
You know theyre no good for you, but get this: One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found these fried slices may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food. And if thats not reason enough to pick a different afternoon snack, these and other deep-fried foods may contain unhealthy saturated and trans fats that may promote inflammation.
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Can Losing Weight Prevent Knee Pain
- AposHealth Staff
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a major risk factor for osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects more than a third of adults over the age of 60. So, for people who are obesemeaning they have a body mass index of 30 or abovethere is a statistically higher likelihood that they will develop osteoarthritis.
Why Does My Knee Hurt
Knee pain is one of the most common complications of being overweight or obese. If youre among the millions of people who experience chronic knee pain, even a small weight loss can help reduce pain and lower the risk of osteoarthritis .
According to a 2011 report from the Institute of Medicine , of the roughly 100 million American adults who experience common chronic pain, nearly 20 percent, or 20 million people, have knee pain. This is second only to the number of people with lower back pain.
More than two-thirds of people in the United States are either overweight or obese .
Those extra pounds increase the stress on your knees. That stress can cause chronic pain and lead to other complications such as OA.
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Talking To Arthritis Patients About Weight Loss
Weight loss eases arthritis pain and improves the quality of life of adults living with arthritis, especially if they are overweight or have obesity.
More than 58 million US adults have arthritis. Among adults with arthritis, 39 million are overweight or have obesity.
Healthcare professionals can counsel their arthritis patients to lose weight if they are overweight or have obesity. Research suggests that patients who receive weight counseling from a healthcare professional are almost 4 times more likely to attempt weight loss than those not receiving counseling. Adults with arthritis can decrease pain and improve function by being at a healthy weight. Weight loss is a non-drug way to manage arthritis and ease joint pain.
Get A Prescription For Physical Therapy To Help Lose Weight With Knee Osteoarthritis
If you havent exercised in a long time, if you have serious comorbidities like heart disease, or if moving your joints brings severe pain or even just the fear of pain ask your doctor to refer you to a physical therapist. These specialists can ease you slowly into appropriate movements.
It can help people to have a structured program in the beginning, so they can feel more confident that they wont overdo it, Lieberman says.
Without a physical therapist, for example, you might not realize that exercising your legs with weights, like with the machines you find in a gym, are not good for knee osteoarthritis. Its fine to do straight leg raises in a chair, which strengthen the quads above the knees. But it can injure the joint to push the leg against resistance, she says.
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Resolve To Lose Weight To Reduce Arthritis Pain
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for overall health. Most Americans know its importance in reducing risks of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, many may be surprised to learn excess weight not only exacerbates pain from arthritis, but significantly increases the risk of a patient developing arthritis in the first place.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five Americans has been diagnosed with some form of arthritis. However, that number jumps to one in three among obese people. Studies have shown obese women are at nearly four times the risk for osteoarthritis of the knee compared to non-obese women. For obese men, the risk was nearly five times greater.
There are two key reasons to explain the connection between obesity and arthritis. First, excess weight increases the load on the joints, particularly on the hip and knees, causing wear and tear of the cartilage. While walking across level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight. Going up and down stairs, that number increases to four to 10 times your body weight. That means a 200-pound man will put from 800 pounds to 2,000 pounds of pressure on his knees while climbing the stairs.
Dr. Matthew Levy sees patients in Solon, Independence, Warren and downtown Cleveland. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Levy call 440-349-7137.
Are Your Joints Begging You To Lose Weight
Weight loss isnt exactly an original New Years resolution. But this year, were giving you an added reason to make it a priority: joint relief.
According to Dr. Thomas Fyda, a sports medicine specialist at Great Basin Orthopaedics, Each pound of body weight translates into at least four pounds of pressure at the knee joint. He adds, Losing weight can relieve stress on an arthritic or injured joint and thus help relieve symptoms.
Knowing this, lets take a closer look at how excess weight and joint pain are interconnected.
The Stats Tell The Story
- Close to 20 percent of adults in the U.S. experience knee pain.
- Knee pain is the second most commonly reported pain, with lower back pain being the first.
- Obesity is the top preventable risk factor for osteoarthritis .
- More than 70 percent of American adults age 20 and older are overweight or obese.
- A study revealed that a combination of diet and exercise was more effective in reducing knee pain and increasing knee function versus diet or exercise alone.
Knees And Other Joints
Authors of a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research concluded that 69 percent of knee replacements and 27 percent of hip replacements are at least in part due to excess weight or obesity.
More Obesity-Related Trouble: Inflammation
Now, The Good News
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Is Diet Or Exercise Best For Losing Weight With Knee Osteoarthritis
Both work well, especially together! Definitely approach weight loss with both a diet plan and a fitness plan. Combining the right diet plan with appropriate exercise, along with learning tools that change ingrained behaviors, is the best way to lose significant weight, according to the National Institutes of Health .
Losing weight slowly is best for the body, the NIH says. A reasonable time period is six months to drop 10 percent of your body weight.
More Weight Lost More Pain Lost
The researchers found that the greater the weight reductions in these overweight and obese adults, the better they fared. They were rewarded with:
- Less knee pain
- Better physical health-related quality of life
- Better mental health-related quality of life
- Less knee joint compression force
- Lower levels of inflammation
Previous studies of weight loss among individuals with osteoarthritis had involved a 5 to 10% reduction in body weight. It was not known if more weight reductions might provide additional benefits.
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