Watch Your Weight and Your Joints

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Weight Loss Effects on Joints

Every year millions of people decide to make health changes for the upcoming year.  Some start at the gym or purchase a myriad of equipment in the hope of newfound health. From better health to time management there are many reasons why people attempt to change their health each year.  Weight loss is a key factor in most of the choices made with New Year’s Resolutions.  If you don’t make a decision to change then you will never start to change.  Hopefully I can go over a few more reasons to support your weight loss decision.

There are crucial joints of the body that have the job of holding the body up while in movement.  Whether running, jogging, walking or standing, these joints hold everything up. They are “Weight Bearing Joints”.  If these joints are loaded with excess weight they will become problematic over the years.  If you enjoy the ability to move and be active, you have to treat these joints with care.  Every new year that you keep excess weight on, these joints start degrading.  This concept holds true for everything.  If you have the most valuable item at home and it can only withstand a certain amount of weight on it before it breaks, you are going to take extra care to keep the extra weight off of it.  You should hold your body with just as much value.  For our purpose, these are the joints of the hips, knees, ankles, feet and low back.

When you add on extra body weight, it starts to affect the cartilage of your load bearing joints.  This cartilage surrounds the bones of the lower back, hips, knees and ankles.  The cartilage is a smooth covering that keeps the bones of the joint from creating friction.  It allows for smooth movement of the joint and acts as a shock absorber.  If you start to gain an unhealthy amount of weight, your joints and cartilage will begin to break down.  If you already have other health concerns, arthritis and degeneration, then these joints will break down at a faster rate.  If you lose the cartilage around your joints, your mobility will decrease, and your pain will increase.  This typically affects motivation and takes a toll on the activities that make life enjoyable.  How much weight does it take to affect a joint? If you add one pound of weight, your joints will experience about 4 lbs. of pressure. If you gained 5 lbs. that translates close to 25 lbs. of pressure into the knees.  If you gained 10 lbs. on the holidays, then you can experience up to 30-60 lbs. of pressure in the knees while walking.  The extra pressure leads to increased inflammation responses, pain, swelling and also speeds up the degeneration of your weight bearing joints.  The degeneration of joints is permanent and should be avoided at all costs.

If you have multiple attempts at New Year’s weight loss and need motivation outside of looking better, just remember the load bearing joints.  They are only as healthy as you are.  The easiest way to address pain in these areas is to take the extra pressure off of them.  You do this by losing weight.

In charting your weight loss plan, consulting a medical professional is recommended.

 This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC, one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.

Have you been in a car accident? If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group  to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.

Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations:

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