Carrying a significant amount of weight can have an effect on joint health. A recent article from Harvard Health Publishing suggests that losing weight may aid in some pain relief, though the amount to lose will vary depending on one’s current condition and needs.
Excess weight may increase the risk of joint pain in the legs, particularly the knees and ankles. As you get older and your metabolism slows, you may find it more difficult to shed pounds. Patients over 60 should be aware of such risks as they can contribute to osteoarthritis, a condition that wears down the cartilage cushioning the space between joints. Stiffness, limited mobility and swelling in the joint areas are symptoms of OA and can be confirmed by a visit to an orthopaedic specialist.
Reaching a specific weight loss number can take time, though working towards that goal guides one toward pain relief. Regular exercise, regardless of weight, aids in joint flexibility and mobility. This, along with other measures, may help prevent the need for joint replacement.
A change of diet, recommended for weight loss, can also provide pain relief. Adding more cruciferous vegetables to your plate – broccoli, kale, and cauliflower – increases intake of antioxidants that block the enzymes that make you ache and feel stiff.
Similarly, avoiding high-caloric, heavily processed foods, excess carbs and sugars, and fried food aids not only in a healthier eating regimen but improved care for joints. Foods high in saturated fats and sugar can trigger cytokines, which cause inflammation.
At Bon Secours Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists, our physicians and specialists provide different treatments to patients seeking relief from pain. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.