Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from arthritis that’s been diagnosed by a doctor, and many more have undiagnosed joint disease. What’s more, about 75% of Americans are overweight. Since being overweight puts more strain on your joints, it’s no surprise that people who are overweight are also more likely to suffer from painful arthritis symptoms.
At Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, our team helps patients relieve arthritis pain with custom management plans that often include medical weight loss.
Here are seven reasons why we recommend weight loss for many of our patients with arthritis.
1. Less joint pain
Every pound of body weight exerts 1.5 times that amount of weight on your knees every time you take a step. That means if you weigh 200 pounds, every step puts 300 pounds of pressure on your joints.
Losing weight means your weight-bearing joints, like your knees, hips, and ankles, won’t be exposed to as much stress and strain. These are the primary causes of joint wear and tear and joint pain in people with arthritis. When you lose weight, you don’t just reduce joint pain. You can help preserve joint health, too.
2. Improved joint function
Less stress and strain on your joints also mean less pressure and compression inside the joints. As a result, your joint structures can move more freely.
When joints move better, there’s less painful friction and inflammation. Plus, there’s less wear and tear on the joint surfaces.
3. Better mobility
When your joints hurt, even simple activities like going to the store or visiting friends can be painful. It’s even hard to do the therapeutic exercises and regular walking that your doctor says can help your symptoms.
By relieving extra pressure on your joints and improving the way they work, you can be more active and enjoy more activities simply because you’ll be more comfortable.
4. Improved overall wellness
Weight loss is associated with other health benefits too, including decreased risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Decreasing your risks of other chronic diseases makes it easier to focus on improving arthritis symptoms and it improves your overall mood, too.
5. Improved emotional wellness
Let’s face it: Dealing with chronic pain is stressful. It’s no wonder that many people with chronic or recurrent joint pain also have feelings of frustration and depression, along with isolation. Pain can also exacerbate anxiety and other mood-related disorders. By alleviating chronic pain, weight loss can help reduce anxiety and other emotional side effects, too.
6. Better sleep
Good sleep is important for good health, and it’s also important for helping you cope with arthritis and its symptoms. Studies show people who get the ideal amount of restful sleep regularly are also able to deal with aches and pains, along with other physical and emotional wellness issues.
However, if you’re plagued by sore joints, getting comfortable in bed can be difficult, and that means you can wind up getting poor sleep or very little sleep. Weight loss reduces pressure on your joints when you sleep. It can help you breathe better while you’re lying down, too, another bonus that can help you catch your Zs.
7. Less cost
You can’t put a price on health, but you can put a price on healthcare. It’s important to seek medical care for arthritis symptoms, but it’s also realistic to say that healthcare can take a bite from your budget.
Losing weight is a low-cost way to preserve joint health and avoid or delay more costly treatments that could arise from weight-related joint strain. Plus, the other benefits of weight loss — like better overall physical and emotional wellness — could result in additional cost savings in the future.
Learn more about weight loss for arthritis
Weight loss isn’t easy for most of us, but having a medical weight-loss plan in place can help, especially when that plan is backed by the expertise and regular support of our team members.
To learn how you can tap into all the benefits of weight loss, including easing your painful arthritis symptoms, book an appointment online or over the phone at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.