Weight

weight can lead to osteoarthritisAfter age, weight is the next leading cause of osteoarthritis. As we put on excess weight, we also add pressure to our joints. The knees have the greatest risk of becoming inflamed due to weight issues. A force of nearly three to six times one’s own body weight is exerted across the knee while walking. Even being only 10 pounds overweight, increases the force placed on the knees by 30-60 pounds with each step (4). Women who deal with obesity have nearly 4 times the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis than women who do not because the added pressure can create inflammation in the joints (2). This inflammation produces painful swelling as the bones rub together and wear down cartilage. The rate at which this cartilage wears down is faster in relation to how overweight a person is. Eating healthy is not only important for individuals, but it can also prevent the development of OA. Talk with your physician about any dietary changes you are considering. Your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist to develop an optimum nutrition plan. There is plenty of information available in regards to eating the right kinds of foods and losing weight, but there is also a wide array of foods that are known to fight inflammation and reduce pain. Omega-3 fatty acids are infamous for carrying anti-inflammatory properties. They are most commonly found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. If you use vegetable oil on a regular basis while cooking, consider switching to olive oil. Olive oil contains a chemical compound known as oleocanthal, which not only gives olive oil its taste but also mimics the effects of NSAID painkillers when ingested. Extra virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants shown to help reduce inflammation. Polyphenol compounds have also been known to “decrease the production of messaging molecules responsible for inflammation, inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes, and decrease the synthesis of the enzyme inducible nitric oxide synthase” (5). Plenty of fruits also help battle inflammation; however, the leader of these is tart cherries. They contain more anti-inflammatory properties than any other fruit. As with any diet, a proper amount of physical activity is beneficial in losing excess weight. Start by talking to your doctor about beginning an exercise routine. You should begin a regiment that is specific to you and your ability. Always start slow when beginning any exercise, and immediately stop exercising if there is a severe amount of pain. If an individual is not careful, further injury during exercise may occur and exacerbate their osteoarthritis. If you would like to find more details on “Foods that Reduce Arthritis Pain” (Click Here)