Home | Articles | Does Body Weight Affect The Knees?

By Dr Punit Malpani
Published on 09/12/2022

Are you overweight with knee pain? Is being overweight causing you knee pain?

The answer is YES! Obesity or being overweight can put you at risk for osteoarthritis and other knee and hip musculoskeletal disorders.

Knees are potent machines of the body! Being the biggest and most powerful joints in the body, people use their knees constantly to sit, walk, bend, stand, and jump. When standing still, your knees support 80% of your body weight; while moving, they keep 150% or more. The increased weight puts more strain on your knees, which can result in chronic pain and other knee problems, like osteoarthritis or arthritis. Let's clear up the link between body weight and knee pain!

How does weight affect your knees?

When people gain weight, the cartilage that protects the ends of their joints and bones becomes more stressed. Additional body fat can sometimes raise blood levels of chemicals that cause joint inflammation. Osteoarthritis (OA) can result from one of these things. The bones rub against one another rather than sliding over one another.

Symptoms like swelling, pain, stiffness, and loss of motion often worsen over time.

Normal wear and tear is another major cause of osteoarthritis, especially after the age of 50. Extra body fat can develop OA or worsen it if people already have it. Moreover, excess body fat, specifically around the abdomen, might lead to diabetes. Insulin resistance is caused by fat, which causes the body to stop responding to the hormone insulin.

Can weight loss help improve knee pain symptoms?

Yes! Weight loss can help improve knee pain symptoms. Walking, getting out of a chair, and other activities need less effort during the day.

Additionally, losing weight leads to lower blood pressure, good cholesterol, and improved blood sugar balance, among other benefits for common problems. Although losing weight helps lessen knee discomfort, doing so might be more difficult if you are already experiencing pain.Knee pain can make it difficult to engage in the physical activity required for long-term weight loss success.

Now the question is; How to lose weight with knee pain?

Here are some smart strategies to lose weight if you have knee pain:

Get a physical therapy prescription to help with weight loss if you have knee pain

If you have not worked out in a long time, have substantial comorbidities such as heart disease, or if moving the joints causes intense discomfort or even the fear of suffering, ask your doctor to consult a physical therapist. The specialists can ease you back into correct movements, and it can help people feel more secure that they won't overdo it if they start with an organised program.
Without the help of a physical therapist, people may be unaware that exercising of legs with weights, such as those found in a gym, is not beneficial to suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Straight leg raises on a chair, which strengthens the quads above the knees, are suitable.

Begin working out in the water to help with weight loss if you have knee pain

Whether you work with a therapist or on your own, moving without pain is the best approach to starting an exercise routine that you'll continue with. Swimming is an option for people with knee pain. Moving in water, such as during pool aerobics or swimming laps, allows the joint to flex without gravity or weight.
After gaining confidence and muscle mass, one can progress to other workouts like quick walking outside, on a treadmill, or using an elliptical at a moderate speed. After each workout, pay attention to the body. If the pain continues for longer than a couple of hours, check with the doctor or physical therapist.

To lose weight while managing knee pain, confront the emotions that lead to overeating

People eat not always because they are hungry but also because they are happy, stressed, bored, irritated, or in pain. It's essential to confront the emotions that would lead us to overeat.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diet are two of the best diets for weight loss. However, if you're attempting to lose weight, you should limit the intake of high-fat items like oils and avocados on these diets. They are nutritious foods; however, they are high in sodium.

Do Not Eat Before Bed

Stopping after-dinner snacks and late-night eating habits is a simple method to lose weight. This method not only helps the body digest and metabolize meals but also helps the digestive and metabolic systems perform most efficiently during the day.

Lose Weight To Protect Your Knees!

Obese people who lose significant weight can vastly reduce knee pain and problems!

What about being overweight and depressed? Is there a link between obesity and depression? Know your answer

https://www.medicoverhospitals.in/articles/obesity_and_mental_health