Excess Weight and Knee Pain

A chiropractor can help protect your joints in many ways, but one way you might not think of is by helping you maintain a healthy weight. A pound here or there doesn’t seem like much, but during the holidays it can be easy to indulge a bit too much. People typically don’t lose the weight they gained during the holidays, despite optimistic New Year’s Resolutions, resulting in a buildup over the years.  Excess weight has a negative impact on your skeletal structure as well as your internal organs and heart.

Your knees can suffer from the additional weight, having the extra stress on your joints can lead to osteoarthritis or injuries in the cartilage.  Cartilage stops joints from rubbing painfully together by acting as a cushion.  The stress of additional weight can cause a breakdown of the knees’ cartilage.  By losing one pound of weight you are reducing the pressure on your knee joints by four pounds.

Osteoarthritis is a disease that destroys the cartilage that serves as a shock absorber in joints.  The result is pain and stiffness, and eventually the movement of the joint may be lost.  Being overweight raises your risk for developing osteoarthritis in two ways.  First, having excess weight on weight-bearing joints puts additional stress on the area.  Second, weight gain may contribute to inflammation and trouble in other joints.

The force on your knees is about 1 ½ times your bodyweight, and that number increases when you are on an incline.  Stairs increase the amount of pressure on your knees to two or three times your bodyweight.  Bending down to pick up something puts the force of four or five times your bodyweight on your knees.

It may be easy to ignore a pound or two around the holidays, but people typically don’t lose the weight they gain over the holidays. Don’t wait for problems to arise because of the additional weight, be proactive by starting some regular exercises.  Walking is a good choice, it can also be a good time to catch up with family members.  Make a habit of taking a walk after the kids get out of school; walking together gives you the benefit of exercise as well as time to interact together.

If you are having trouble losing weight, or just want some guidance and support, we can help.  We want to help you reach the healthiest version of yourself, including your ideal weight.  Subluxations of the spine are often direct contributors to weight gain.  Misalignments along the spinal column can hinder communication controlling hunger and eating cues.

It is also difficult to want to exercise if you suffer from chronic pain, or have reduced range of motion.  Dr. Elsey can help to restore range of motion, align your spine, and relieve pain, as well as helping to build a healthier lifestyle.  After meeting with you and discussing your personal needs we can make recommendations for exercise and diet specifically tailored to you and your lifestyle.