People with osteoarthritis of a weight-bearing joint and who are overweight may benefit from maintaining an ideal weight. Weight loss and maintaining an ideal weight is a lifestyle change that can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and improve overall well being.
Weight bearing joints are those joints in the body that support body weight. The joints in the back, the hip joint, the knee joint, the ankle joint and some of the small joints in the foot are all examples of weight bearing joints. Carrying extra body weight can put increased stress on these weight bearing joints. For people with osteoarthritis of a weight bearing joint, maintaining or attaining a recommended weight can help reduce the pain caused by osteoarthritis by reducing the amount of stress that is placed on the affected joint.
If a weight loss program is being considered, it is important to discuss the program with a doctor and/or a dietician. These healthcare professionals can provide guidance and assistance and develop an appropriate weight loss program.
Losing weight and maintaining the desired weight can be difficult under the best of circumstances. People with osteoarthritis may find it even harder since their symptoms often limit the amount and type of exercise in which they can participate. Some people may benefit from organized weight loss programs such as Weight Watchers©. Some people may also benefit from peer group discussions or joining nutrition classes.