Leading a healthy lifestyle is important for so many countless reasons. Living a long life is a priority, of course, but living a life of quality where you can move freely as you’d like is equally important. That’s why it’s important to discuss the impact of body weight on your joints, but first, let’s talk about BMI.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
Part of staying vital is maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). Studies show that BMI has great implications on joint health, but what is BMI?
BMI is a calculation of your height and weight. BMI does not diagnosis the health of a person, but will identify categories that increase the risk of health issues. Below is a table of BMI weight status categories and you can use this tool to calculate yours: link to BMI calculator.
|18.5 – 24.9||Healthy Weight|
|25.0 – 29.9||Overweight|
|30.0 and Above||Obesity|
The Impact of Obesity on Joints
When BMI is in the obesity weight status category, it is more common to see the following associated joint issues.
Pressure on Knees and Hips
When you think about the function of our load-bearing joints (our knees and hips), you realize the actual load they bear when lifting or moving our bodies. In fact, for every 10 pounds of extra weight you carry, your joints take on 30 to 40 pounds of force. Managing a healthy weight and BMI removes this unnecessary additional stress on your knees and hips.
Inflammation and Osteoarthritis
Obesity results in chronic inflammation in the body and constant inflammation makes the body more susceptible to osteoarthritis – even in non-load bearing joints like the wrist. This is when the smooth cartilage protecting the joint has worn away, causing pain and stiffness. As the wear on the joint continues, bone rubs on bone creating the need for medical intervention, either by non-surgical or surgical methods.
Increased Risks of Surgery
Not only does obesity increase the risk of osteoarthritis, the progression of the disease is faster than those with healthy BMI’s. Thus the need for surgical solutions is greater. There is a greater risk for complications from surgery for patients with BMI’s over 30 than those in a healthy range. Your surgeon will always discuss your particular risks and expected outcomes during any pre-surgical consultations.
Helping our patients stay active is our mission at NEOSM, and we love to help provide preventative tips to keep you mobile. By maintaining a healthy BMI, the issues above can be better avoided. To do so, consistently eating a diet full of nutrient-rich fruit, vegetables and lean proteins is a priority. It is also important to live an active lifestyle, whatever that may mean to you. It can be a walk around the block each day or a tennis match with a friend. The more you move the more you build upon your overall health.
And as always, the specialists at NEOSM are here to guide you however you need. If you’d like to schedule a consultation, please feel free to call one of our nine offices most convenient to you.