Here is a medical definition of “JOINT”: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to move.
There are many joints distributed throughout the body bur for purposes of this entry, let’s divide “joints” into two categories: Weight bearing and Non-weight bearing.
Examples of non-weight bearing joints: Elbows, shoulders, fingers
Examples of weight-bearing joints: hips, knees, ankles, feet
Focusing on those weight-bearing joints, they are being tasked, on a daily basis, to carry and support the individual’s weight. Clearly, the more weight that is present, the more “work” and “strain” those joints need to perform in order for the individual to be mobile and hopefully, free of pain. However, over time, as age occurs, there is a natural wearing down of these joints and higher weight-bearing will accelerate the deterioration of these weight-bearing joints.
The physics of weight works this way: Because most of our weight is carried high (torso) that is a higher surface area than the lower, smaller surface area weight bearing joints, for every pound that is lost (or gained) there is a four pound pressure change in that weight bearing joint. As an example, a person that is able to shed 25 pounds is effectively taking 100 pounds of pressure off of the hips, knees, ankles and feet joints.
Losing weight makes a HUGE difference in the function, healing and pain emitted from weight bearing joints. Many patients tell us that one of the first things they notice in the first few weeks of our program is a lessening of knee pains.
Risk of injury and recovery from injury are markedly impacted in a positive way by successful weight control. Over time, we will all experience joint pains of some sort and being vigilant and steadfast in your weight control efforts will markedly improve those joints.
Life is LOTS better walking, exercising and playing with your kids and grandkids without limitations or pain. Stay focused on your weight control!