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Natural Treatment & Support

The Connection Between Knee Pain & Excess Weight

Pressure from excess weight can lead to structural damage in the knee, causing pain that ranges from uncomfortable to debilitating. Discover how weight loss and prolotherapy can help.

couple enjoying a walk outside

Knee pain can be severely debilitating. It can keep you from your daily activities, limit your ability to achieve fitness goals, and make it difficult to engage with loved ones. Because when your knee hurts, you’re not likely to hike with your friends or play tag with the little ones. 

Most commonly, knee pain is the result of trauma to the knee joint. In some instances, this trauma can be an acute injury, such as landing on your knee or twisting it unnaturally. Though not commonly discussed, weight is another common form of trauma. 

Carrying excess weight places greater stress on the knee with every step. Researchers reported at the OARSI 2022 World Congress that just a 5% increase in body weight over four years was associated with a 34% increased risk of developing frequent knee pain.

34% of Americans 54-59 Report a Problem in Their Knee Joint

Think you’re suffering alone? Think again. A study by Gallup-Healthways revealed 34% of Americans 54 to 59 years old suffer from chronic knee pain. That’s a staggeringly high percentage. And, the instances of chronic knee pain are on the rise.

In a recent Science Magazine article by Mitch Leslie, a new study revealed, “The prevalence of knee arthritis among people in the United States has doubled since the start of World War II.”

Knees Are Designed for a Mobile Lifestyle

This drastic spike in knee pain has been attributed to the increased average lifespan, obesity rates, and a lack of activity. Lack of activity can often result in a breakdown of muscles and cartilage – two of the key components for protecting your knee and providing functionality.

Why? Because the knee is a complex meeting point for three bones:

  • Femur
  • Tibia
  • Patella (kneecap)

These three bones are held together with ligaments, thick bands of tissue used to stabilize the joint. They are lined with cartilage, a smooth, plastic-like lining which limits friction during movement. Cartilage also acts as a shock absorber. Finally, the joint is surrounded by muscles, which provide strength and protection.

Over-coming debilitating knee pain can allow you to start enjoying the simple pleasures in life, like a walk in the sunshine with the one you love.

Common Knee Pain Causes that Can be Severely Debilitating

The most common causes of chronic knee pain are:

  • Excess Weight - According to a research article published by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, “Every pound of body weight places four to six pounds of pressure on each knee joint.” 
  • Osteoarthritis – Degenerative arthritis, when the cartilage between the joints breaks down. Once the cartilage is gone completely, moving causes the bones to rub against each other.  
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – A chemical change within your joint that causes your ligament to become inflamed and thicken. If left unaddressed, this ultimately leads to a breakdown in the cartilage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, arthritis is the nation’s most common cause of disability. As your knee gives way to pain, you’re less and less likely to be active. You’re more likely to gain weight. This creates a cyclical cycle of pain symptoms, leading to more damage.

The U.S. Department Health & Human Services reports there’s strong evidence endurance and resistance exercise can significantly reduce the occurrence of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, an individual must first be healthy enough to partake.

Traditional Knee Pain Treatment Methods Typically Just Mask Symptoms

Your knees are sore when they’re bent. Or there’s a pain behind your kneecap. What do you do? Most individuals will see a traditional doctor who addresses their symptoms. But addressing symptoms doesn’t identify the cause of the pain.

Individuals will typically be prescribed chemical painkillers, numbing injections, or invasive surgery. These treatments act as a Band Aid. They offer immediate relief, but rarely deliver long-term results.

Additionally, when you mask your pain, you put yourself at risk of further damage. Pain is your body’s way of telling you it’s time to stop. When you don’t feel the pain, you’re more likely to keep pushing, potentially tearing ligaments and tissue.

Medically Supervised Weight Loss for Knee Pain Relief

When it comes to knees, losing weight can undoubtedly relieve some (if not all) of your knee pain. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that losing as little as 7.5% of your body weight could reduce knee pain and the occurrence of a total knee replacement.

Medically supervised weight loss offers the support and guidance to help you drop the pounds AND keep them off. Working directly with a naturopathic doctor, you will work to uncover the root cause of your weight gain, address it, and find sustainable ways to achieve your health goals.

Want to be the dad who gives piggyback rides without cringing? Protect your knees to reduce (or eliminate) pain by managing your weight and helping your body heal naturally.

Prolotherapy Triggers Your Body’s Natural Healing Process to Repair Damage and Reduce Pain

Unfortunately, losing weight doesn’t inherently help heal any structural damage to the joints and surrounding tissue. Prolotherapy offers a non-invasive alternative to knee pain relief. The process has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 100 years to naturally stimulate the body’s own healing process.

Your body is an amazing, self-healing machine. Unfortunately, imbalances can interrupt the necessary messages from reaching your main operating system - your brain.

Prolotherapy helps activate these messages, kicking your brain into overdrive. By injecting a small irritant at the site of the pain, we help remind the brain that this area of your body needs attention. This triggers growth and healing of the tendons, ligaments, and tissues in the surrounding area. 

Schedule a Consultation

Get the support and guidance you deserve to achieve your health goals. At Premier Integrative, we offer Medically Supervised Weight Loss and in-house prolotherapy treatments to help you heal.

Schedule a Consultation

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