Osteoarthritis is a common condition millions of Germans suffer from – with an increasing tendency. This condition is characterized by joint wear with the protective cartilage layer being reduced, resulting in pain and limited mobility. The knee joints are affected particularly often. One of the risk factors for osteoarthritis is overweight because the increased body mass is a huge strain on the joints. But what can those affected do about that? The magic formula to reduce body weight is a healthy diet and exercise. Find out below which diet is ideal for osteoarthritis and what types of exercise promote joint health.
Osteoarthritis as a result of being overweight
The connection between being overweight and osteoarthritis can’t really come as a surprise: based on excessive body weight, joints, ligaments and tendons have a great load to carry during any movement, causing them to wear more quickly. Compared with people of normal weight, the risk of suffering from joint conditions increases drastically for someone who is obese. The knee joint is affected particularly often because it bears a large part of the body weight. If the joint cartilage wears as a consequence, this condition is known as osteoarthritis of the knee.
However, it is not purely weight that subjects joints to strain. Another reason for joint problems is that overweight people generally tend to be less active, meaning the joints are not supplied with sufficient nutrients. Additionally, the muscles are not developed enough to appropriately support the joints.
Thus, weight loss and targeted exercise have a positive impact on joint health in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. The load to be carried is reduced, joint function improved, the stabilizing muscles are stimulated and strengthened, and metabolic processes enhanced, resulting in reduced pain.
Successfully losing weight in cases of osteoarthritis:
In order to escape the vicious osteoarthritis cycle of overweight, pain and limited mobility, a diet suitable for osteoarthritis and low-impact exercise will help.
Good nutrition and the right diet in cases of osteoarthritis
All food that we consume has a huge impact on our health. Do I now have to follow a specific osteoarthritis diet? Yes and no. A strict diet is not necessarily required. But you should have a very close look at your meal plan and adjust it permanently to slow down the progression of the condition. In cases of overweight, each pound lost will be a relief for your joints. That’s why it’s worth trying to reduce fat and calories.
Exercise for overweight patients with osteoarthritis
If your knee hurts like crazy with every step, nobody would blame you if you just want to spend the day on the couch to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, trying to avoid any kind of activity is not the way forward. Regular exercise with moderate strain is vital for joint health. But why?
The cartilage tissue acts like a shock absorber between the bones, allowing the joints to move smoothly.
This requires sufficient synovial fluid, which provides the cartilage with essential nutrients. But it can only get into the tissue when the joint is subjected to strain and relieved again, i.e. when you’re moving the joint. A lack of movement means the cartilage layer is not supplied with sufficient nutrients, causing it to wear more quickly.
The best method to counteract osteoarthritis is gentle exercise because it keeps the joints mobile.
In order to benefit from the positive effects of exercise, it’s important to choose low-impact activities and to limit strain. Popular types of exercise include, for example, swimming, aqua aerobics, cycling, and walking. Being active during everyday life also plays an important role. Our knee supports for patients suffering from osteoarthritis can help you. They stabilize and relieve the affected knee. When you’re active, they exert a pain-alleviating and beneficial massage effect. This will make it easier to get moving again. Plus, they are comfortable to wear and are therefore the perfect accessory for an active lifestyle with less pain.