Increasing Body Weight Puts Strain On Knee Joints
Obesity is on the rise around the world and has doubled in the last 40 years. Today, about 2 billion people in the world are overweight and about 600 million are obese. This means that about 35% of the world’s population is above a normal body weight.
In the US, about 60% of the population is overweight due to low physical activity and poor nutrition. Even in India, a country where people have traditionally normal body weights, about 5% of the population is currently obese.
Weight Gain Causes Many Problems – Including Joint Pain
Most people know that being overweight can lead to many diseases, from heart disease to diabetes. Extra weight also causes knee problems. All the weight on a person’s upper body and thighs rest on their knee joints. The more weight above the knee joint, the more pressure is put on the knees. In the knee joint there is a ring of cartilage that cushions the interface of the bones above and below the knee joint. Weight on the knee joint damages and degrades this cartilage, causing osteoarthritis.
Weight Control Is An Important Part Of Any Treatment
Maintaining a healthy weight helps with the pain and discomfort that people with knee problems suffer from. Even decreasing one’s weight by a few pounds makes a difference. Did you know that each pound of weight lost decreases the load on the knee joint by about four pounds? Through diet and exercise, you can improve your condition. Weight loss relieves the burden on your knee joints and exercise strengthens the muscles that support your joints.
At Reflex, our off-loading knee braces protect the area of injured cartilage and help retrain muscles that stabilize the joints. These braces can help patients to be more physically active. As a result, patients can lose weight and improve the condition of their knees. We also have partnerships with physical therapists who advise our patients on weight control and provide resources for weight loss.