Weight Loss

Arthritis is inflammation of the joint and in most cases weight-bearing joints are most commonly and severely affected by it. Obesity or being overweight is one of the prime reasons of arthritis and losing those extra pounds may help the patient to walk and move in a better way with less pain and discomfort.

Consequences of obesity on joints

  • Being overweight increases the load on weight bearing joints like knees, hips, and ankle.

  • Some activities like walking, going up and down stairs, or getting into or out of a chair or car, puts three to five times of our body weight on the joints. This increases the stress across knees and hips. Overweight individuals will put more stress on their joints and become more prone to development or progression of arthritis.

How can an arthritic patient loss weight?

The best way to lose weight is to

  • Eat less: Eating small but frequent meals is the best way to help your body in losing the extra pounds without putting any strain on body, mind or soul.

  • Eat healthy foods: Junk food is the commonest cause of not only obesity but also a number of other diseases. Shifting to healthy foods like fruits and vegetables give an extra reason to your body to get rid of the extra pounds.

  • Exercise more: Although exercise is one of the most important parts of weight losing regime but most of the arthritis cases are associated with decreased activity of the patient. In these cases, exercising (running, jogging, and aerobics) becomes more difficult and can put too much stress on the joints. This may hasten the arthritis process and can cause injury which will further cause more pain and discomfort to the patient. So these activities are not recommended in case of arthritis. On the other hand, three types of exercise that is particularly well suited for people with arthritis include:

  • Swimming because buoyancy of water helps to alleviate pain during water exercise

  • Cycling (especially on a recumbent stationary bike, which is easier on knees and hips than a standard bike) strengthens key muscles like the quadriceps

  • Elliptical trainers

  • Weight loss surgery: For those cases, where none of the above factors help in losing weight, surgery like Total Knee replacement, bypass or gastric banding can prove to be beneficial for the patient.

Advantages of weight loss especially for arthritic patients

Although losing those extra pounds will not repair the damage that has been already done to the joints affected by arthritis, but still it will show following advantages in the daily routine of the patient:

  • Reduced limping around and groaning after waking up in the morning

  • Comfortable walking without any issues

  • Decreased pain

  • Slow down the further progression of the disease

  • Allows better function of the joint

  • Prolongs the need of joint replacement surgery

  • Significantly lower the risk of developing arthritis even in the presence of other risk factors