I really, really believe that.
I recently blogged on the subject. Today I'm back to take another bite at the apple (a fruit, by the way, you might consider eating more of to help you shed a few pounds).
Because it's such an important message. Because I think a good 90 percent of knee pain sufferers can benefit from it.
Whoa, that's high, you may be thinking. But even if you're not obese, or even technically overweight, I bet that losing at least two or three pounds will help your knees. It helped mine, and I was thin at the time.
To show you why losing weight matters, I'm going to try to quietly slip back into the shadows and let others do the talking.
A 12-year study in the U.K. looked at knee pain in women 50 years and older.
This study found that higher body mass index (BMI), previous knee injury, and radiographically confirmed osteoarthritis are predictors of persistent knee pain in women 50 years and older.You can't control whether you had a previous knee injury. You can't control whether you have osteoarthritis as indicated by X-ray. You can control your weight.
Australian researchers conducted a one-year study of 111 obese patients who had weight-loss surgery or took part in a program of diet and exercise.
Weight loss in obese patients correlated with improved knee cartilage thickness and quality, even in those who had previously existing osteoarthritis.What was fascinating was that this study, using sophisticated measurements, showed that the actual quality of the knee cartilage improved:
Patients ... had delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI assessments of the knee, which can reveal the distribution of the glycosaminoglycans found in articular proteoglycans. Glycosaminoglycans are present in high levels in normal cartilage but in lower levels in cartilage that is decaying ... [Researchers] found that weight loss as low as 7% of body weight was associated with preservation of cartilage quality, and that better quality of the cartilage also improved the knee range of motion.And, finally, more support for the Saving My Knees proposition that cartilage damage doesn't have to be the beginning of the end:
"These findings suggest that early cartilage degradation may be reversible. This has great clinical relevance as it indicates an opportunity for intervention or change before irreversible change in cartilage morphometry occurs," Lyn March and colleagues [the study's authors] stated.Danish researchers put 175 obese subjects suffering from knee osteoarthritis on a protein-shake-and-soup diet. During the first eight weeks, participants shed an average of 26 pounds.
Losing weight helped more than 60 percent of the participants reduce their knee pain and improved their ability to walk, the researchers found.The November issue of the Nutrition Action Healthletter had a big article on fighting chronic inflammation.
Many knee pain sufferers have inflammation issues. However, it's still murky exactly how inflammation can be subdued. Well, largely murky.
One thing is clear, according to the article, which quoted Walter Willett, chairman of the Nutrition Department at the Harvard School of Public Health.
"The most powerful way to reduce your inflammatory factors is to lose excess weight."So there you have it.
What are you waiting for?