Age, arthritis, and other medical conditions can all potentially make joints feel stiff, sore, and painful. While there are medical procedures like surgery that can help with this, it's best to try and undergo less invasive methods of improving joint health before going to something so intense. If you're carrying extra weight, losing some of it might just be what you need.
The Pressure on Joints
Everyone knows that the more weight you carry, the harder it is on your joints. But you might be surprised at just how overwhelming that pressure can be.
Imagine for a moment that you're only carrying 20 extra pounds that you'd like to lose. Those pounds are actually adding up to 80 pounds of pressure on your knees! That's because every pound of weight that you carry equates to four pounds of pressure on your joints. The heavier you are, the harder it is on your joints, and this can start to wear down on important cushioning and cartilage in the joint, permanently damaging it.
Inflammation also plays a big role in joint pain, especially with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. However, you don't need to have a disease in order for your joints to be inflamed.
That's because being overweight increases the level of overall inflammation in your body. This is because stored fat actually emits hormones that increase the body's inflammatory response. Inflammation can tear down and damage the cushioning in your joints, too, so as you can see, carrying excess weight is a double-edged sword that's bound to cause you pain and potentially permanently damage your joints.
What to Do
The best thing you can do to avoid further damage to your joints and to stop the pain is to lose weight. Think of how easy it is to lose a single pound and imagine taking a four-pound weight directly off of your knees as a result. Even losing a little weight will benefit your joints, so that's what you should be aiming for.
A great way to go about this is to join a weight loss program. Fad diets and solo exercise can potentially hurt you more than help you. With a weight loss program, you're given guidelines to follow that are medically sound and won't hurt you. Plus, there's a support program built-in to most weight loss programs that will help to keep you on-plan and feel encouraged even if weight loss slows down.