Excess Weight Damages Your Knees
Knee pain can be debilitating. As knees play such a large part in walking, running, and even sitting down or simply standing, it can be incredibly painful, or even impossible to function during the day with intense knee pain. Many experience difficulty going to work or enjoying time with family as a result.
How being overweight damages your knees
Knees can be aching or hurting for a variety of reasons. One of the most common though, as well as most commonly overlooked, is excess weight.
Being even slightly overweight can significantly increase potential for surprising levels of knee damage that can make it incredibly difficult to function.
Each pound of weight equals out to an extra four pounds of pressure on the knees, one of the most important joints in the body.
Here are three specific ways that extra weight could be damaging your knees.
Beyond a collection of ailments that impact the body when one is carrying excess weight, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, excess weight can also heavily impact one’s likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.
This joint disease is incredibly painful and debilitating and makes it difficult to function day to day.
Putting increased, consistent pressure on any joint, which can happen due to weight gain, makes individuals incredibly vulnerable to possibly contract osteoarthritis.
Rest and various anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can alleviate some of the symptoms typically associated with this painful joint disease, but it is very difficult to treat.
The main risk factors for having osteoarthritis are genetics and hereditary factors, as twins or siblings commonly experience the same conditions eventually in their lives, as well as obesity. In this context, the only controllable factor is weight.
Many who attempt a combination of healthy diet and exercise experience relief from knee pain and save themselves from experiencing more intense symptoms and conditions like osteoarthritis down the line later in life.
The inflammation of the tendons can be painful, especially in the knee, as the knee is actively used during so much of the day. Tendons attach the bone to muscle, so when a tendon is inflamed, use of the muscle causes pain in that area that can be uncomfortable or even debilitating.
Repetitive impact on a part of the body, regardless of how minor, can very quickly result in tendonitis. This means that daily activities that may seem harmless, like gardening, painting, scrubbing, playing golf, or even just cleaning the house, can cause the tendon to become inflamed and painful.
Therefore, as a result, excess weight that puts more pressure on tendons in the knees can cause these knee tendons to become even more inflamed than they would otherwise have been. Tendonitis in the knees caused by obesity is incredibly common and is better preemptively treated than treated after the fact.
Tendonitis is more common with age, as a majority of those who experience it are above the age of forty. Those dealing with excess weight as they age can practice eating healthy and exercising safely and regularly in order to preempt the onset of this common ailment.
The pain can be sudden, or it can occur more and moreover a period of time, but either way, it is incredibly painful and can prevent the daily functioning of individuals suffering from it.
3. Excess Weight Makes it More Difficult to Balance Muscle with Weight
The weight you carry puts stress on muscles and tendons, but this stress can be alleviated by activating these muscles and making them stronger in order to support the weight more effectively. But when more weight is put on, the muscle is required to work even harder to simply balance the weight and reduce joint pain.
Eventually, the muscles can be overwhelmed, especially if you are not deliberately developing the muscles.
Increasing exercise can assist individuals in preempting damage caused to the joints and tendons in the knee by building the muscles in the legs.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to avoid serious, debilitating knee pain is to keep off that extra weight through active living and healthy eating.