Losing One Pound of Weight Results in Four Pounds of Pressure Being Removed From the Knees?
We see far too many people suffering from knee pain due to extra weight. If you lose 10 pounds that is equal to 40 pounds of pressure removed from your knees, making a world of difference if you have achy, stiff knees.
Knee pain is a frequent issue that continues to increase as people age. One factor that compounds this issue is weight. The knees support the body when standing upright, and any weight that you carry that is non-essential increases the load your knees have to support. This can lead to long-term knee pain and breakdown of cartilage. Fortunately, small changes in weight can have significant effects on knee pressure.
By the Numbers
A study completed in 2018 concluded that for every 1 lb of weight loss that occurred, there was a resulting 4 lb reduction in knee joint load or knee pressure. Furthermore, it was suggested that individuals who lost 10 lbs would be subject to a total of 48,000 fewer pounds of pressure for every mile walked. Multiply this change in workload over an average lifespan and you get a compelling case for weight loss as an approach to alleviate knee pain in individuals who are overweight or obese.
When it comes to the knees, there are many benefits of losing weight. Outside of the reduction in knee pressure, there will be a reduced breakdown of cartilage due to less friction exerted by the bones due to high pressure. Another potential benefit is increased mobility and range of motion because symptoms of pain are reduced as the overall load is alleviated. There is also potential for a reduction in need/use of pain medication because the underlying cause of the pain is corrected.
Losing One Pound
One pound of fat contains approximately 3,500 calories of energy. To lose 1 lb of fat per week and receive the 4 lb decrease in knee pressure, you need to have an energy deficiency of 500 calories per day. An energy deficiency simply means you are taking in fewer calories than you are expending. A combination of diet and exercise is the best approach to reaching this 1 lb of weight loss per week goal.
Not all knee pain is caused by being overweight. For instance, individuals who have arthritis or disrupted cartilage in the knee joint may not see any benefit. Others may respond differently and gain some benefit without being 100 percent pain-free. It is important to consult with your doctor to determine if weight loss or physical therapy is the best course of treatment for your knee pain.
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