1 pound weight loss unloads 4 pounds of joint stress | Senior Focus | Max Greenberg | Palo Alto Online |


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By Max Greenberg

1 pound weight loss unloads 4 pounds of joint stress

Uploaded: Jun 20, 2016

If you have problems with your knees (very common amongst seniors – I do, from way too much basketball) it’s a well-known fact that for every pound of weight you lose you unload 4 pounds of joint stress. I discovered this as I am going through diagnosis and treatment options for knee osteoarthritis, wearing away of my meniscus, and cartilage tears in both knees. While I consult Dr Google and all the doctors and physical therapists I can get to listen to me, why not relieve weight loads on my knees and lower skeleton. I verified the “Rule of Four” (of course I needed to verify from multiple sources before acting) from two medical doctors, as well as a long-time professional sports head trainer/physical therapist. This was great news, to be able to get four for the price of one. Very encouraging. So I urge everyone who has some excess weight, whether a couple of pounds or a couple of tons, to start losing that weight today. Your knees will thank you, and maybe you can avoid knee replacement surgery someday.

Even modest weight loss will significantly lighten the load on your joints. Here’s some research that’s pretty compelling: "The 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 2005 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."