The Impact of Excess Weight on Your Joints

The Impact of Excess Weight on Your Joints

Nearly one-third of Americans aged 20 and over are considered overweight, and another third is obese — that means almost 70% of the U.S. population is at least overweight. 

And the consequences affect virtually every part of the body. 

Those who live with extra weight are at risk for serious health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, as well as mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety. 

Excess weight can also take a toll on your joints and expedite painful damage. Here, Dr. Michael Skardasis, our specialist at Optimal Performance Medicine, takes a closer look at how your weight directly impacts your joint health. 

Defining excess weight

The line between a healthy weight and an unhealthy weight can often be difficult to determine, especially if your weight gain has been gradual. There are a few ways to figure out when you’ve crossed over into having “excess weight.”

First, take a measurement of your waist. Experts say that a waist circumference of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men is a telltale sign that you’re carrying extra weight. 

You may also be overweight if you notice these other symptoms:

Achy, painful joints are another indicator that you’re carrying more weight than you should. Here’s why more weight often results in more joint pain. 

Your weight and your joints

Your body comes equipped with over 300 joints, each of which is responsible for helping you move. Your larger joints, like those in your knees, hips, and back, do all of this while carrying your body weight. 

Even if you maintain a healthy weight throughout your lifetime, osteoarthritis (a type of arthritis characterized by gradual wear-and-tear on your joints) is still a threat. This threat increases (and can set in early) if you have excess weight. 

Extra weight almost always equals extra pressure on your joints, particularly your knees. When you take a step, your knees absorb 1.5 times your body weight. Throw in an incline, and the amount of force goes up to 2-3 times your body weight. Your knees can bear anywhere from 4-5 times your body weight when going up or downstairs or when squatting. 

The more weight you have, the more stress your joints have to endure. 

Additionally, as you gain weight, your body also experiences an increase in inflammation which attacks your joint health as well. 

How we help you lose weight

Your first instinct may be to thrash your calorie count and hit the treadmill for hours. But losing weight too quickly or turning to extreme methods often does more harm than good. 

Dr. Skardasis believes in natural, healthy weight loss that employs a wide range of strategies to help you become a healthier person. We take into account your medical history, interests, and unique needs and create a medically supervised weight-loss program that works for you. 

Many of our programs include the following:

If you’re ready to get one step closer to a healthier lifestyle, don’t hesitate to request an appointment at our Woodstock, Georgia, office online or over the phone today. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Help! I Feel Tired All the Time

There are few things more frustrating than living under a cloud of fatigue. Here, we explore what’s causing your fatigue and show you a few ways we can help you restore your energy.

Am I at Risk for Diabetes?

With millions living with diabetes and over a million more receiving a diagnosis every year, it’s hard not to wonder if you’re next. Here’s what you should know about your risk for diabetes.

Are You Tired of Feeling Tired All the Time?

Frustrated with fatigue? You don’t have to be. We have comprehensive treatments and the experience necessary to get to the bottom of your tiredness quickly and naturally restore your energy.

3 Components of Optimal Health

What does it mean to be well? Is it merely the absence of pain and illness, or is it much more than that? Keep reading to discover how your body, mind, and spirit are interconnected and how each matters in your overall health.