Obesity & Knee Health

March 30, 2021

A common cause of knee pain is obesity. Weighing more than you should put added force on your knees and causes the cartilage to wear quicker.

Think of it this way, when you load up your car’s trunk with heavy things or have a full load of adult passengers, you may notice that the car doesn’t ride quite as smoothly. Going over speed bumps, potholes and riding through intersections feels rougher and jolted rather than the smooth, gliding feeling you’re used to feeling.

Studies have shown that there are direct connections between obesity and knee pain, but that’s not all it affects. Obesity can lead to other, more serious, health problems including:

  • Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Varicose Veins
  • Osteoarthritis

Losing weight is an important step in keeping your knees healthy. Here are a few ways experts believe obesity contributes to knee problems.

Effects Of Obesity On Knee Health

  1. A side effect of obesity is the release of a hormone called leptin. According to some experts, leptin may be a contributing factor in developing osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis.
  2. Body fat is known to release substances in your body that lead to inflammation. Two of these substances called Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha and Interleukin-1 are known to cause cartilage damage in joints.
  3. Those with a Body Mass Index of over 27 are three times more likely to develop knee osteoarthritis [source].
  4. Body fat causes extra wear and tear on all joints, particularly the knees as they are most vulnerable to injury.

To help you determine your body mass index (BMI), there’s a simple formula you can use and all you need is a calculator.

How To Determine BMI With A Calculator

Measuring your BMI isn’t the best way to determine whether you are overweight or obese since it leaves no room for body build and type. However, it will give you an idea of approximately where you’re at, and it works for men, women, and children.

We recommend setting up a consultation with a health professional to help you get an accurate measurement of your true body fat composition.

Formula: Weight (kg) ÷ Height (m)² = BMI

Simply take your height in centimeters and divide it by 100 to get your height in meters. Then, divide your weight by height squared to get your BMI.

The Good News

Losing weight has proven to reduce knee pain by those who suffer from osteoarthritis by up to half! Additionally, studies have shown that training and building leg muscle will also decrease knee pain.

Start taking better care of your knees today through proper dieting and exercising. The benefits of weight loss really are innumerable.

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