Jan 04, 2024
As this is the first week of the year, many people are starting or considering goals to accomplish in 2024. Many people will try to improve their health, and many common New Year resolutions lead to improvements in orthopaedic health. Losing weight is a common goal for many at any time of the year - here are a few reasons why losing excess weight can improve your orthopedic health.
Reduces mechanical stress on joints
Being overweight adds extra compressive load through the hip, knee, ankle, and foot joints, accelerating wear. For every one pound of weight loss means four fewer pounds of pressure off joints like your knees.
Alleviates back and neck pain
Excess pounds strain the spine, causing disks to deteriorate. It also makes it difficult to lift items to protect your back properly. Weight loss improves mobility, flexibility, and balance, which allows your spine to move through a healthy range and improves posture. Watch this video from Dr. Eric Vess on how to properly lift to protect your back.
Improves cartilage integrity
Carrying added weight depletes cushioning cartilage, eventually causing bone-on-bone friction and arthritis. While some joints can be replaced, you'll still need to be in a healthy weight range to be able to have surgery. Slimming down helps preserve the cartilage.
Fat cells produce inflammation, triggering chemicals and enzymes damaging orthopaedic tissues. Dropping pounds reduces this source of inflammation.
Bolsters Outcomes on Surgeries
Having added weight raises complication risks for surgeries like total joint replacement. There are always risks involving surgery, but these risks, like infections, blood clots, and continued pain issues, can increase both during and after surgery. Added fat tissue limits blood flow and slows recovery.
With less weight, you're able to move more easily. Being overweight impacts balance, gait, and stamina, indirectly weakening bones, tendons, and stability muscles long-term.
Small losses add up.
Even a 5-10% reduction of overall body mass can meaningfully impact orthopedic health. Plus, there are many benefits beyond orthopaedic health to losing excess weight.
There are options to help - but the first step is determining what is causing your joint pain. Making an appointment with one of our specialists will get you stepping forward in 2024.
If you're experiencing pain or discomfort or are worried about orthopaedic conditions, make an appointment with one of our experienced providers. We have offices in Hampton, Williamsburg, and North Suffolk. Call our office at (757) 827-2480 or click the Book Now Button Book Appointment Now