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Adults who are overweight or obese report more cases of arthritis than adults at normal or lower body weights. Nearly one-fourth of overweight and one-third of obese adults are diagnosed with arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Excess weight puts added pressure on the joints, which can wear down and become damaged. Fatty tissue also creates and releases chemicals that promote inflammation. Excess fat and weight increase the risk of all forms of arthritis. For people who have already been diagnosed with arthritis, carrying excess weight and fat can make symptoms worse.

If a joint injury or other orthopedic condition is keeping you from enjoying life the way you used to, you don't have to travel far from home. Siloam Springs Regional Hospital is a convenient choice for orthopedic services. To learn more about our services, call 479-215-3124 or visit NorthwestHealth.com today.

Less is more

Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower your risk for arthritis, and losing weight can help manage current arthritis pain. A study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that in adults with osteoarthritis, a 20 percent weight loss significantly improved their symptoms.

Weight loss does not have to be significant for you to feel the benefits. Even losing one pound relieves four pounds of pressure off of your knees, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Get on the right track to reducing joint pain with these small changes to help you lose weight:

• Make the switch. Choose healthier options of your favorite snacks. (See "Lighten Up" for suggestions.)

• Start small. Set personal goals that are measurable and easy to achieve. Small amounts of weight loss will add up over time.

• Take 10 minutes. Breaking up your exercise routines to 10-minute increments can make it more manageable. Take a walk with a coworker on your lunch break or walk around the block with your family after dinner.

Lighten up

Snacks and treats often contain unhealthy amounts of sugar, fat and sodium. Make these switches to stay happy and healthy year-round.

• After a workout: Don't negate the calories burned by eating unhealthy food. Opt for Greek yogurt with berries or drink chocolate milk to give your body the carbohydrates and protein it needs to refuel.

• At the movie theater: Skip the butter on your popcorn, drink water instead of soda and share with friends or family to keep portion sizes reasonable.

• During a barbecue: Grill an assortment of vegetables and opt for lean sources of protein, such as chicken or fish, for the entree. For dessert, serve fresh fruit.

• To stay hydrated: Sip on water instead of sports drinks or sodas, which have high amounts of sugar.

Health facts

• Losing as few as five pounds can lower blood pressure and decrease risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

• All forms of exercise -- aerobic, strengthening, flexibility and body-awareness exercises such as yoga -- can decrease arthritic pain, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

• Losing 15 pounds can reduce your knee pain by half, according to the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance.

Be sure to talk with your provider before starting an exercise program. Need a physician? Visit http://www.nw-physicians.com today to find a provider near you. As a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Northwest Health providers have special access to Mayo Clinic's knowledge, resources and expertise. And you get exactly the care you need, right here at home.

Community on 07/17/2019

Print Headline: Lose weight to take the pressure off your joints

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