Weight Loss for Joint Pain Relief

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are you looking for another good reason to lose weight?  Chances are you already know that dropping weight will help your physical and mental well being in many ways, but do you realize how much joint pain relief you can gain from losing the extra pounds?  

Joint Function 101
     To understand how weight loss can affect joint pain, we first need to have a basic knowledge of what joints do.  Human movement is made possible by the pulling action of muscles on the body’s bones.  As this process occurs, joints allow the bones to be manipulated or moved.  Basically, a joint is the “meeting place,” or junction, of bones, muscles and connective tissue.  Without the ability of joint action, our bodies would remain rigid and stiff because the bones would have no freedom of movement.  Likewise, joints provide stability to prevent unwanted movement and injury.  Since the body is a web of interconnected tissues and systems, all joints in the body are linked together making the movement of one joint directly affect the motion of other joints in the body.  

No Gain, No Pain
     So, how does being overweight affect the joints?  Being overweight affects the joints by increasing pressure and inflammation within the joints throughout the body, especially those in the lower extremities.  Research has shown that the hips, knees, and ankles bear three to five times of a persons total body weight during physical activity.  Simply stated, the more weight, the more pressure is placed on the joints, the greater the risk of painful inflammation.   The key is to reduce the amount of pressure applied to the joints. Even modest reductions in body weight (5-10 percent) can significantly reduce this pressure.  A ten-pound weight loss can relieve up to 50 pounds of added stress from the joints of the hips, knees, and ankles.

Just Make It Go Away
     Today more people work longer hours in environments that require limited movement or physical activity.  This inactivity, combined with unhealthy eating habits, leads to weight gain and possible joint pain.  So, how do you break this cycle?  You basically have two choices.  One, you can carry on with life as normal and count down the days until pain medication and joint replacement is inevitable.  Two, you can break this cycle through healthy eating and moderate exercise.  It is of utmost importance to get your eating habits under control.  Since weight loss comes down to “calories in” versus “calories out” you need a proven nutritional plan that utilizes caloric restriction and balance. Recently periodic fasting and elimination dieting have attracted lots of attention and are beginning to become great lifestyle change methods.  For added physical activity, water exercise (such as the Arthritis Aquatics or Liquid Fitness classes offered at Bradley Wellness Center), low impact cardio (walking, biking), and a carefully designed resistance-training program will round out the regimen.  

If you are serious about weight loss to help alleviate joint pain call 706-278-9355 today and speak with a Fitness Consultant about availability and more information regarding our 3 and 6-month Fat Loss packages or our accelerated 8-week Rapid Fat Loss package.  The time is right to get your weight down and your pain relief up.

Submitted by:  Jeremy Walraven, Fitness Consultant, Bradley Wellness Center