My Knees are Killing Me


I spent the weekend moving boxes and furniture up a flight of stairs.  Since I stay active, run and am up and down stairs all day, I was unprepared for the pain I felt in my knees that night?  What happened?  Then it dawned on my I had been carrying a lot of extra weight.  What does carrying just a few extra pounds do to your joints?  A recent study showed that one pound of excess weight equals four pounds of stress on the knees.   Even though I was carrying the excess weight for a short period of time I realized:

  • The 10-20 pound boxes I was carrying was adding 40-80 pounds of extra stress on my knees,
  • Walking on level ground, the force on your knees is the equivalent of 1½ times your body weight,
  •  The force on each knee is two to three times your body weight when you go up and down stairs,
  • It is four to five times your body weight when you squat to tie a shoelace or pick up an item you dropped.

No wonder my knees hurt!

Losing a few pounds can go a long way toward reducing the pressure on your knees — and protecting them. In one study, the risk of developing osteoarthritis dropped 50% with each 11-pound weight loss among younger obese women. For men who get their body mass index (BMI) down from 30 or higher to between 25 and 29.9

, knee osteoarthritis would decrease an estimated 20%. A similar change in women of the same age could cut the incidence of osteoarthritis of the knee by about 30%.

Research shows accumulated reduction in knee load for a 1-pound loss in weight would be more than 4,800 pounds per mile walked,” writes researcher Stephen P. Messier, PhD, of Wake Forest University in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. “For people losing 10 pounds, each knee would be subjected to 48,000 pounds less in compressive load per mile walked.”

Lighten up to lessen your joint pain.

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