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May 28, 2012

Benefits Of Weight Loss in Arthritis

Lose more to gain more…

Obesity is a nationwide epidemic and we hear about the danger from it every day on the news. New research shows that the obese (overweight) individuals are up to four times as likely to develop knee osteoarthritis as they are to develop high blood pressure or type-2 diabetes. The danger to health and quality of life is insidious: at every stage, excess body weight both increases the level of pain and disability and undermines the effectiveness of treatment. Also, whereas high blood pressure and diabetes may be substantially improved on losing weight and are relatively easy to control with therapy, osteoarthritis is irreversible.

Importance of achieving & maintaining normal weight in arthritis

Maintaining a recommended weight or losing weight if they are overweight can lessen pain by reducing stress on the affected joints. Weight loss specifically helps ease pressure on weight-bearing joints such as the hips, knees, back and feet.

Increased body weight is a serious factor in the development of osteoarthritis (OA), particularly in the knees, which carry the brunt of weight day in and day out.  In fact, for every pound a person gains, add 3 pounds of pressure on the knees and six times the pressure on the hips.

Since weight gain gradually increases the stress on joints, the weight gain the decade before a person has OA symptoms, particularly in middle age, plays a big role in determining if they will have OA. If the patient is overweight, work with them to devise a weight-loss plan that includes eating fewer calories and increasing physical exercise. Make sure they are getting enough nutrients to keep their body healthy and that the activities they choose don’t harm their joints.
Research has shown that losing extra weight can help people who already have osteoarthritis. Moreover, overweight or obese people who do not have osteoarthritis may reduce their risk of developing the disease by losing weight. 


In short, weight control is important to people who have arthritis because extra weight puts extra pressure on some joints and can aggravate many types of arthritis. Achieving a healthy weight reduces the risk of developing the disease in the first place, relieves existing symptoms and helps to prevent further deterioration.

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