Can Being Overweight Cause Knee Pain?

Experiencing an occasional pain in your knee when you climb a set of stairs or go for a walk may feel common, but there may be a reasonable explanation for it.

How to Get Relief for Joint Pain by WebMD

Do Knees Hurt When Overweight?

If you are one of those suffering from chronic knee pain then the first thing you should probably do is to check your weight because being obese is one of the common causes of knee pain.

Having extra weight can actually add more pressure on your knees. That’s why it eventually becomes chronic pain and may also lead to other complications like Osteoarthritis (OA).

Maintaining the right body weight can protect your knees in many ways:

  • Reduces pressure on the knees
  • Reduces Joint inflammation
  • Reduces the risk of other diseases

If you are overweight, each weight you lose can actually reduce the pressure on your knees. Less pressure leads to less wear & tear on your knees and also it lowers the risk of Osteoarthritis (OA).

Losing even 5% of your body weight can definitely have a positive impact on the functioning of your knees and any treatment outcomes. 

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Overweight & Inflammation

OA is said to be aware-and-tear disease. Prolonged and excess pressure on the joints may lead to inflammation. Recent research says that inflammation can actually be a risk factor more than just being a consequence. 

Obesity tends to increase inflammation levels which may lead to joint pain. This inflammatory response can be reduced by losing weight. Scientists have found that there is a link between obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other health issues. 

These are all a part of a condition known as metabolic syndrome. They may involve high levels of inflammation and they tend to influence each other. This is said to be growing evidence that Osteoarthritis may be a part of metabolic syndrome. 

Following a diet that will slow down the progression of metabolic syndrome will also help with Osteoarthritis. Including the below in your diet actually helps:

  • Fresh fruits & vegetables provide nutrients and antioxidants
  • Fiber-rich foods like plant-based foods and whole foods
  • Healthy oils like olive oil

Avoid food with the below mentioned:

  • Added sugar, salt and sugar
  • Highly processed food
  • Saturated and trans fats (may increase cholesterol levels)

Exercise for Overweight People to Treat Knee Pain

You may be a beginner or a pro, exercise can be tedious if you are suffering from bad knee pain and especially if you are being overweight. Luckily, exercise need not be too hard or dreadful in order to be beneficial. Gentle and low-impact workouts will not affect your knees. We have listed down a few exercises below that can reduce stress on your knees and also increase strength and flexibility.

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Ups and Downs

  • Grab a chair! Sit in an armless and firm chair with your feet on the floor and your arms left loose on your sides or maybe crossed whichever makes you feel balanced.
  • Stand up slowly and reach your full height
  • Hold on for a few seconds and now sit again. You can repeat this for a minute.

Hamstring Stretch

  • Sit at the edge of a chair and straighten one leg with your heel touching the floor and your toes facing the top. 
  • Now sit straight and push your navel towards the thigh
  • Do this three times for each leg

Calf Raises

  • Stand at the backside of the chair
  • Raise your heel as much as possible and then lower
  • Do 3 sets of repetition

Calf Stretch

  • Stand behind the chair with one leg forward, slightly bent
  • Hold the top of the chair 
  • Without bending your back leg lean towards the top of the chair
  • Hold the position for a few seconds and then change your legs
  • Repeat the same for a minute

Straight Leg Raises

  • Lie down on the floor with one of your legs bent with your foot flat on the floor.
  • Extend the other leg
  • Tighten the thigh muscles of your straightened leg and now raise it to an angle of 45 degree
  • Hold your leg in the elevated position for a couple of seconds and then slowly lower it back to the ground
  • Do three sets of repetitions
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Hamstring Curls

  • Lie down flat on your stomach
  • Bring your heels close to your butt and hold on to that position
  • Repeat the same for both your legs
  • You can also do this exercise while you are standing by holding the back of your chair

Knee rolls

  • Lie on the floor and bend your legs
  • Extend your arms at your side
  • Look towards your left side and bend both your knees towards your right. You will feel a good stretch.
  • Hold it for 5 seconds and now do it on the other side. Repeat this for ten times.

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