How Obesity Causes Knee Pain

The body is a unified system, which means that all processes within it are connected and affect one another. Being overweight has many consequences in the form of health problems. Everything suffers: the heart, circulatory and respiratory systems, especially the joints. In this article you will learn how obesity causes knee pain. If you suffer from obesity and feel pain in your knees, it’s a wake-up call to see a specialist. Chances are your knee joints are wearing down and you have developed osteoarthritis as a result. 

Signs of osteoarthritis

  • Aching pain in the knee after physical activity.
  • Sharp pain on exertion of the legs.
  • Reaction to changes in the weather in the form of aching sensations.

Relationship between weight and knee joint strain

The correlation is truly simple: more weight equals more strain. Knee joints have their own stress tolerance with limits – exceeding these limits will wear out the joints in no time. They cannot bear the weight and become thin. Inflammation sets in, causing discomfort and pain. Physical activity decreases manifold and the overweight situation is only exacerbated. But why does tissue such as bone and cartilage deteriorate so quickly? To answer this question, all you need to know is the ratio of weight to load:

  • When moving on level ground, the pressure on the knees is 1.5 times the body weight.
  • On descending / ascending – 2-3 times the body weight (on each knee).
  • When squatting – 4-5 times more.

On average, every kilo of extra weight is 4 times the load on your knees. That is, by reducing the weight by at least 4 kg the load can already be reduced by 16 kg. Weight loss may therefore be recommended by physicians as both a preventive measure and a treatment for arthritis. 

Inflammatory processes

Scientists have found out an interesting fact: Being overweight can cause inflammatory processes in the body. An average of 1 pound of weight loss per week was observed. Over the course of the observation period, the inflammation rates in their bodies gradually decreased. In other words, it was not knee arthritis but rather obesity that triggered the inflammation of the joints. A kind of inverse relationship: overweight – inflammation – knee arthritis. This is why doctors recommend losing weight, because knee pain can be caused by inflammation in the body due to excess weight. Accordingly, reducing it will cause the pain to disappear. 

Metabolic syndrome 

Metabolic syndrome is a complex of symptoms manifested by impaired metabolism (fats and carbohydrates), high blood pressure and resistance (not acceptance) to insulin. Osteoarthritis may also have an association with metabolic syndrome. The following diseases may be part of the syndrome:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Cardiovascular disorders (arterial hypertension).
  • Obesity.

All of the above-mentioned diseases are accompanied by inflammatory processes within the body. More recently, osteoarthritis has also been classified as a syndrome disease. 

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