The knee is one of the most common joints we injure, especially in athletes. Common injuries are sprains and strains, then there are meniscus injuries and ACL tears etc. In severe cases, surgery is going to be required, but is it always the best option? According to an article on www.mercola.com exercise may work just as well as surgery with some injuries. In the article Dr Mercola discusses several pieces of research which shows that exercise can be just as effective as surgery for certain injuries. I will go over a few of the key findings here, but if you are interested follow this link to read the full article. Continue reading to see what the studies show and what to make of it.
One of the questions I get asked a lot in the clinic is, “is my back sore because I am overweight?” It is a hard
question to answer and I usually respond by saying that I see people of all sizes with back pain so it is not the only reason your back is sore, however, being overweight may not help the situation. In the book The
Physiology of the joints by Kapandji, it says that every extra 1lb of weight a person is carrying equates to 10lb extra pressure on the discs in the lower lumbar spine. This is quite a big effect and can account for some of the pain an overweight person feels. This extra pressure on the discs can lead to problems like wear and tear and disc bulges and could also slow down your recovery time.
Carrying extra weight can also lead to problems with other joints, especially the knees. The flip side of this, is
that if you lose weight it can have a big effect on the joints. An article published by Harvard Health Publications stated “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%”.
Losing weight can help your joints and your recovery, but it can also have a huge effect on the risk of future health problems. We have all heard about the benefits of weight loss for general health reasons. For example, a 22lb weight loss can reduce the risk of heart attack by 75% and weight loss can help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and can help normalise blood pressure etc. There is tons of information out there about this topic that is very interesting. I may talk about that more in a future post.
The idea to take from this blog post is that being overweight may not necessarily be causing the back problems you are suffering from but may a contributing factor. As with any problem, you need to have it assessed to see what the cause is and get it corrected. Losing weight will help take some pressure off the joints and help protect them, but it will also help improve the overall function of your body. If you have any questions or have a problem that you would like to have assessed, please contact us, and we can get you started on your road to recovery.
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