Health Care

How Weight Loss Can Help Your Joint Pain

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With more than 58 million American adults living with arthritis and 39 million among them struggling with their weight, it’s clear there’s a connection between the two conditions. The extra weight we carry bears down on our joints, especially our knees and hips, causing inflammation and pain.

Our bariatric and medical weight-loss program is all about helping you live a healthier life with less pain and more joy. Read on to learn how finding your healthy weight and maintaining it can relieve and reduce joint pain.

Under Pressure

Research found that losing one pound of weight resulted in four pounds of pressure being removed from the knees. That means losing 10 pounds would relieve 40 pounds of pressure from your knees.

No Gain, Less Pain

Multiple studies show that losing weight results in arthritis pain relief. One 2018 study found that the more weight you lose, the more pain is relieved. The study of overweight and obese older adults with pain from knee osteoarthritis found that greater weight loss resulted in better outcomes than losing a smaller amount of weight. Losing 10 to 20% of your starting body weight can improve pain, function and quality of life better than losing 5% of your body weight.

Reduce Inflammation and Disease Activity

Fat is an active tissue that creates and releases inflammatory chemicals into your body. By reducing fat stores in the body, your overall inflammation will decrease. Research indicates that obesity can activate and sustain low-grade inflammation throughout the body. The inflammation can amplify and aggravate painful autoimmune disorders, such as psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. hat said, inflammation reduction can result in decreased disease activity, not only in autoimmune illnesses but also in the associated comorbid diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Decreased Chance of Needing Surgery

One of the primary goals of weight loss is to reduce extra pressure on your knee joints, hips and lower back. This will lessen your need for future joint replacement surgery. Most surgeons will not perform surgeries if you’re overweight, but this does depend on how severe your arthritis is.

Delayed Arthritis Progression

Whether you already have arthritis, you can significantly delay its progression and reduce your symptoms by meeting your healthy weight goal. Research suggests that for every 11 pounds of weight lost, you can reduce your risk of osteoarthritis by nearly 50%. The best and most effective advice for osteoarthritis is to maintain a healthy weight.

Trust Us to Help You Improve Your Quality of Life

At UChicago Medicine AdventHealth, you’ll have a team of experts comprised of world-class physicians, nutritionists and psychologists dedicated to helping you reach and maintain your healthiest weight. Our team addresses the needs of your body, mind and spirit to craft a comprehensive weight-loss program that works for you in the days, weeks and years to come.

Learn more about our program here.

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