How obesity can lead to knee pain?

How Obesity can lead to knee pain

What is obesity?
Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat accumulates to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems. It is most commonly caused by –

1. Overeating
2. lack of exercise
3. genetics
4. endocrine problems
5. certain medications.
How common is obesity in today’s world? -

The prevalence of obesity in India is estimated to be around 19.3%. This prevalence has been rising in recent years, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating an increase of about three million people in India suffering from obesity in the year 2017.

Obesity comes with many secondary complications such as heart disease, joint pains, diabetes etc.
Above all, knee joint pain is the most commonly observed problem in obese patients as it is a weight bearing joint of body. Knee pain is a common problem for people who are overweight.

Why obese are more vulnerable to knee pain?
Knee is the most common joint to get affected in most of population.
Knee pain can be because of various causes.
1. Osteoarthritis – It happens when the cartilage in your knee joint breaks down, enabling the bones to rub together. The friction makes your knees hurt.
2. Patellofemoral pain syndrome - Patellofemoral pain syndrome is one of the most common causes of knee pain in young athletes. The condition is an overuse injury that results from activities that cause pressure or friction on the cartilage behind the kneecap.

3. Injury to knee joint – as a result of fall or accident there can be injury to ligaments, meniscus or bones. Which results in pain.

4. Bursitis or tendinitis – as a result of injury to knee joint bursa or tendon may get inflamed which causes pain.

5. Obesity – obesity itself causes knee pain. Weight can cause knee pain because it puts extra pressure on the joints and ligaments of the knee. Knee pain and obesity are related in several ways. Excess body weight can increase the pressure on the joints, leading to wear and tear on the joints, which can cause pain. Excess body weight can also lead to decreased flexibility and strength in the knee joints, which can lead to knee pain. Furthermore, carrying excess body weight can lead to a decrease in physical activity, which can lead to the muscles around the knee becoming weak or tight, causing pain. Losing weight can help to reduce the amount of strain on the knees, relieving pain and reducing the risk of further injury. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help to achieve this.

How weight loss can help you get relief from knee pain?
1. Weight Loss Reduces Joint Pain: Excess weight can put extra strain and pressure on joints, causing pain and discomfort. Reducing weight can help to reduce joint pain and reduce the risk of developing a more serious joint injury.

2. Improved Mobility: Overweight individuals can struggle with performing everyday tasks such as walking, running, or climbing stairs. Reducing weight can help improve mobility, enabling individuals to move around more easily and with less pain.

3. Improved Overall Health: Being overweight increases an individual's risk of developing various health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Reducing weight can help to improve overall health and reduce the risk of future health problems.

4. Improved Quality of Life: Excess weight can cause individuals to become more self-conscious, leading to a decrease in self-esteem and confidence. Reducing weight can help to improve an individual's quality of life and make them feel more comfortable in social situations.

5. Reduce chances of knee replacements – Overweight and obese patients are at >40% and 100% increased risk of knee replacement surgery, respectively, compared to patients with normal weight. Weight reduction strategies could potentially reduce the need for knee replacement surgery by 31% among patients with knee OA.

Weight loss is must to avoid progression of knee symptoms. At healthQ rehab, we have come up with weight loss program. Dr. Poornima, physiotherapist taking online as well as offline sessions. You can avail sessions by registering

References –
1. American College of Rheumatology
3. Therapeutic exercise - Foundations and Techniques. by Lynn Allen Colby Carolyn Kisner John Borstad.

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