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How Excess Weight Affects Your Joints

  • Category: Blog, Orthopedics
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: St. John's Health
How Excess Weight Affects Your Joints

If you find yourself experiencing aches and pains in your joints during everyday activities like walking or getting up from a seated position, one area of your life to consider changing is maintaining healthy body weight. Here’s what you should know.

What Does it Mean to Be Overweight?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), maintaining a weight that is higher than what is considered to be healthy for a given height is considered to be overweight.

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is used as a screening tool to determine whether or not you are overweight. If you have a high BMI, it may suggest that you have high body fatness. Although BMI is not used to directly measure the amount of fat present in your body or your health, it can be used to screen for weight-related categories that may lead to the development of health issues in the future.

If you have questions about your BMI or how your weight may be affecting your health, it is important that you speak with your healthcare provider.

Excess Weight and Joint Health

There are two ways that being overweight can negatively affect your joint health. The first way is that it adds unnecessary stress on weight-bearing joints like your knees, hips, and back. This can lead to the development of osteoarthritis due to the excess wear and tear on the joints, causing cartilage damage. Another way is through the increased pressure and inflammation associated with weight gain.

Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Acknowledging that your weight may be the source of your joint pain can seem daunting. The good news is, you can promote weight loss and maintain a healthy weight with the help of the following tips:

  • Limit your portion sizes. This helps you control your caloric intake while eating the appropriate amount of food.
  • Opt for healthy snacks. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can help you to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Get up and get moving. Getting regular physical exercise helps you to get in shape, move your joints, and burn calories.
  • Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about how your weight may be affecting your orthopedic health.

Orthopedic Care in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton County

If you are experiencing persistent joint pain, it is important that you talk with an orthopedic specialist to accurately diagnose the cause of your discomfort and provide you with treatment options.

At St. John's Health’s Peak Joint & Spine Center, we have created a special program that brings together a team of experienced and expert surgeons with caring and specially trained nurses, therapists, and technicians. Our goal here is to provide seamless, coordinated care, and get you back to your favorite activities as soon as possible. Talk to one of the providers at the Peak Joint & Spine Center to learn more about treatment options.