Is weight loss going to be one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2015? If so, we have one more reason to stick to it. Did you know there is a proven link between obesity and the development of Osteoarthritis? With the increase numbers of people in the UK having a BMI classifying them as overweight or obese, we’re seeing an increase in cases of Osteoarthritis (OA) being diagnosed in younger and younger people. Over 17 million cases of OA are predicted by 2030. It is caused by wear and tear on the joints such as the knees which bear the brunt of the extra weight we carry and causes knee pain and stiffness that can reduce mobility and quality of life. Below are some stats about OA that will keep your New Year’s resolution motivation high, giving you more reasons than ‘looking good’ to stick to your goals.
Osteoarthritis Is A Bigger Risk For Obese People Than Type-2 Diabetes
The latest statistics show that 2 out of 3 adults in the UK are overweight and obese. Of those who are obese, they are 14 times more likely to develop Osteoarthritis than someone of a healthy weight. Someone who is obese is also 5 times more likely to develop OA in both knees which would cause further pain and suffering than having it in just one knee. We’re all aware of the risks obesity carries of developing certain, chronic conditions like type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure, but the obese population are 4 times more likely to develop Osteoarthritis than these better known conditions!
1 In 8 Osteoarthritis Sufferers Are In Unbearable Pain
For those who have already developed Osteoarthritis, 81% of the UK’s 8.5 million sufferers are in some form of constant pain, with 1 in 8 describing the pain as unbearable. There are also 10 million working days lost each year because of arthritis related conditions, meaning employers would benefit from helping their employees to stay fit and healthy too. OA carries a 50% increased risk of death and sufferers face an additional £2.6 billion in costs associated with their condition. Prescriptions, additional heating bills and transport costs when your mobility is reduced are all important considerations. By losing weight now, you will significantly reduce the likelihood of developing OA which will not only prevent unbearable pain, it will help you stay in work and save money that would otherwise go on the cost of managing the condition.
Every Extra Kilo Of Weight Equates To 4 kilos Of Weight For Your Knees
Now you know how the stats about how the condition affects people and how obesity increases the risk of developing Osteoarthritis, but how exactly does the extra weight affect the joints? It has been demonstrated every extra kilo of body mass is equal to an additional 4 kilos of weight for your knee to bear because of the force that is put through the joints when you stand, walk or run. This extra force through the joints, speeds up the natural process of wear and tear in the joints, whereby the cartilage that protects the ends of the bones which meet to form the knee joint is worn away, eventually causing wear directly on the bones.
If you have already developed Osteoarthritis, it is not too late to improve your symptoms and significantly slow the progression of the wear and tear on the joints. Losing weight in 2015 will help and, one thing that will help your weight loss mission is exercise. Many people fall into a cycle of knee pain which hinders mobility, leading to lower levels of activity, weight gain and consequently, further joint problems. Clinical evidence has shown that reducing your activity levels is the worst thing you can do, as exercise increases muscle strength, joint function and reduces OA symptoms. So, whether you have it or not, make 2015 the year to tackle your symptoms or reduce your lifetime risk of developing Osteoarthritis. You’ll end up improving your overall health and fitness in the process! If you suffer from Osteoarthritis and looking for some extra tips check out this post AposTherapy have put together.