How Joint Problems Arise
Damage to any component of the joint can cause injury. We tend to ignore our joints until something happens to them that causes discomfort. Everyday activities such as climbing stairs, bending, and lifting can strain the joints and lead to injury. This strain is even greater if we’re overweight because then our joints are forced to carry a significantly heavier load and face even faster deterioration. 66% of people who have joint discomfort are overweight; 21% are inactive.
Being overweight not only makes joint discomfort worse, it also appears to be a cause of discomfort. For every pound that you are overweight, you place an additional six times your body weight of pressure on your knees and hips every time you rise from a chair or walk down stairs. If you are 20 pounds overweight, your knees carry an extra burden of up to 120 pounds. If you weigh 150 pounds, you are putting 900 pounds of pressure on your knees when you walk down stairs.
There is clear evidence that being overweight increases the risk for joint discomfort later in life. Research conducted at the Harvard School of Public health found that women who were overweight were four times as likely as women who weighed less to develop knee discomfort. Women who were medically obese were ten times more likely to develop knee discomfort. Being overweight can also adversely affect a person’s gait, how they walk, and this can cause even more pressure on the joints.
A small weight loss can have a significant impact on decreasing discomfort. In the Framingham Study, it was found that by losing approximately 11 pounds, or 2 units of BMI (body mass index), people reduced their discomfort by 50%.
Having weak muscles, our body’s first shock absorbers, causes our joints to absorb the full impact of additional strain because our joints do not get proper support. Breakdown of cartilage can cause bones to grind together and become even more unhealthy. If we take good care of our joints, by exercising to strengthen our muscles, by losing weight to relieve stress on our joints, by doing stretching and low-impact aerobics such as using an elliptical machine to keep our joints lubricated, and by taking Supple®to help repair our cartilage and joints, thenwe have the best chance at obtaining complete discomfort relief.