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How Weight Loss Can Slow Arthritis Progression

How Weight Loss Can Slow Arthritis Progression

Roughly 60 million Americans have been medically diagnosed with arthritis, and that means every one of them is at risk of developing painful, swollen, stiff joints. To date, there’s no cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can help. Better still, you can play a proactive role in reducing your symptoms by doing one simple thing: losing extra pounds.

At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness, our team offers state-of-the-art arthritis treatmentspain management options, and personalized weight-loss plans in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey. In this post, learn how weight loss can help relieve arthritis pain and even help your joints stay healthy.

Quick facts about arthritis

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects your joints. All types of arthritis cause excess joint wear, particularly on the joint’s surface. In a healthy joint, a thick layer of slick cartilage protects the bones that comprise the joint, preventing friction and helping joints move smoothly. 

Arthritis causes the cartilage to wear away, resulting in pain and inflammation, along with joint stiffness, swelling, and reduced range of motion. While there are multiple types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) due to wear and tear is by far the most common

As joint symptoms develop over time, they can take a huge toll on your activity and your quality of life. About 8 million Americans have arthritis that’s so severe, it interferes with their ability to perform their jobs.

How weight loss can help

Arthritis can affect any joint, including the weight-bearing joints, like your knees and hips, as well as the joints in your lower back and feet. Every day, these joints bear your body weight as you walk, climb stairs, or just stand still. 

Weight loss helps reduce arthritis symptoms and slow the progression of the disease in three key ways.

Less joint strain

Every extra pound of weight you’re carrying puts an added four pounds of pressure on your weight-bearing joints. That means if you’re just 10 pounds overweight, your knees and other weight-bearing joints are subjected to about 40 pounds of pressure.

That 4-to-1 relationship means that even a modest weight loss can yield major benefits for your joints by decreasing strain on the joint surfaces. Less wear and tear means reduced symptoms and fewer joint problems in the future.

Reduced inflammation

Inflammation associated with arthritis drives joint pain, stiffness, and joint surface destruction, so it makes sense to do all you can to reduce the inflammatory response. In addition, fat cells release chemicals that promote inflammation

When you lose weight, that inflammatory response decreases too. Less inflammation in your body can help protect your joints now and for years to come. 

Improved mobility

When you’re carrying extra pounds, it takes a lot more energy to be active — and for many people, that means less time using their joints. Over time, reduced activity can lead to more stiffness in your joints, along with more painful symptoms.

Weight loss makes it easier to get moving, and it can also make arthritis treatments like physical therapy more effective. Plus, regular activity helps your joints stay lubricated, potentially reducing inflammatory damage later on.

Arthritis treatment focused on your needs

Weight loss is just one way we help patients relieve arthritis symptoms and enjoy better joint health. To learn how we can help you slow the progression of arthritis, book an appointment online or over the phone at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.

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