Here’s How Your Weight Affects Your Knees in Eastern Tennessee

How Can Your Weight Affect Knee Pain?

Have you ever wanted to lose weight for an upcoming event or simply feel better? If you experience knee pain, there’s another powerful reason to increase your activity and eat a balanced diet. Studies show that losing as little as 10 pounds can significantly decrease knee pain.

Knee Health Advice From Knoxville’s Orthopaedic Experts

Our knees are designed to handle our weight perfectly under normal conditions. However, excess weight increases the force on our knees, causing them to wear down over time. This wear and tear on the cartilage translates to increased knee pain. Additionally, pain often leads to decreased activity levels, which can lead to further weight gain, creating a vicious cycle.

What Exercise is Low-Impact on My Knees?

To improve the health of your joints, it is suggested that you start with low-impact exercises like walking, biking, or swimming at least three times a week. These activities are easy on your joints, help with weight loss, and strengthen the muscles around your knees. Other highly recommended exercises include Tai Chi and aqua aerobics, which have a low impact on your knees.

As you lose weight and gain strength, you can gradually add weight-bearing exercises and increase the duration and intensity of your cardiovascular workouts.

How Does Your Weight Affect Your Knees?

Increased Joint Stress: Every step, jump, or movement stresses your knees. Excess weight amplifies this stress, accelerating wear and tear on the cartilage.

Joint Degeneration: Over time, repetitive strain from excess weight can break down the cartilage, cushioning your knee joint. When this happens, bones rub together, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness—hallmarks of osteoarthritis.

Inflammation: Fat cells produce inflammatory substances. Chronic inflammation in the knee joint can exacerbate pain and damage surrounding structures.

Muscle Weakness: Carrying extra weight weakens and imbalances the muscles around your knee. Weak muscles can’t adequately support and stabilize the joint, increasing injury risk and worsening pain.

Reduced Mobility: Knee pain can limit movement and activity levels. Less activity can lead to weight gain and worsening knee pain, creating a vicious cycle.

Altered Joint Mechanics: Excess weight can alter the alignment and mechanics of your knee joint, increasing the risk of specific conditions like patellofemoral pain syndrome. These issues cause pain, swelling, and dysfunction.

Delayed Recovery: Excess weight hinders healing after a knee injury or surgery by placing additional strain on the joint. This can prolong recovery and increase the risk of complications.

Knee Pain Treatment with Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance

Talk to your orthopedic specialist before undertaking any new exercise regime, as they can guide you through what’s best for your joint health. At Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance, our fellowship-trained knee specialists may recommend several sessions of physical therapy before starting any home routines to ensure you have expert guidance on techniques and safety. This will keep you mobile while keeping your knee pain to a minimum.

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing knee pain and preserving joint health. Following a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and making healthy lifestyle choices can alleviate stress on your knees, decrease inflammation, strengthen supporting muscles, and improve mobility, ultimately reducing your risk of knee pain and complications.

Our board-certified orthopedists provide knee injury patients with intricate techniques and targeted therapies to heal and reduce knee joint injuries and inflammation. You can book an appointment online or call (865) 690-4861.

We offer orthopedic expertise at our convenient locations in East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Lenoir City, and Sevierville. Find a convenient location near you!

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