Losing weight can help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but can weight loss relieve joint pain? Let’s find out.
While losing weight can be a pain, a bigger pain is experienced by your joints if you don’t maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is considered an important modifiable risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), one of the most prevalent joint conditions. The following is an overview of how weight loss can provide some relief when it comes to joint pain.
“Joints in your body’s lower half – particularly your knees and hips – bear most of your weight,” says Robert Bolash, MD, a specialist in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management. “That’s why years of carrying around excess weight contribute to achy, swollen, stiff joints.” However, by reducing your weight, you can significantly improve symptoms felt in those lower body joints due to osteoarthritis.
Weight Loss Benefits
“Maintaining an ideal body weight is important, and if overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can decrease the progression of your knee osteoarthritis by 50 percent, according to a published study,” says rheumatologist Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Treatment Center. “This is clearly a modifiable risk factor.”
Studies show that people who are overweight have higher rates of OA than those who are not overweight. Even though your body can’t reverse arthritis or regrow your cartilage, weight loss can help prevent further damage while also offering some pain relief.
Improving Your Health
The best way to lose weight is to focus on healthy eating and regular exercise – especially water exercises. “In water, your body floats, and you take much of the weight off your joints so moving them doesn’t hurt as much,” Bolash explains. “At the same time, water provides resistance that allows you to activate muscles without burdening your joints.”
If your joint pain doesn’t go away, then there are different treatments provided by rheumatologists and pain medicine specialists. These include anti-inflammatory medications, chronic musculoskeletal pain relievers, injections, and radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
The best time to deal with joint pain is before it happens; don’t wait until you have OA – start exercising now to prevent it from developing. Losing weight will lighten your load in both the present and the future.
If you don’t know where to start, begin by learning your body mass index (BMI) and what it means, as well as your waist circumference. Then, make it a goal to participate in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. Also, make sure you start eating healthier food, as diet has a significant impact on your total weight.
Lastly, if you need an extra boost, consider taking a supplement like Joint Health Support. Its ingredients promote fortified cartilage, reduced inflammation and swelling, lubricated joints, and joint gap increase (and less rubbing). Give your joints the support they deserve by losing weight, practicing healthy habits, and taking Joint Health Support.