Around ten million Americans endure knee osteoarthritis, which has made it one of the most common reasons of disability in the United States. Due to obesity and knee osteoarthritis, Americans who are fifty and over combined will lose equal of 86 million healthy years of life according to researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Researchers had examined the possible gains and quality and amount of life which could be gained preventing losses due to obesity and knee osteoarthritis.
Dr. Elena Losina, PhD., head researcher of the study and co-director of Orthopedics and Arthritis Center for Outcomes Research in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at BWH, states that by decreasing obesity rates seen in 2000, would halt 172,792 cases of coronary heart disease, 710.942 cases of diabetes and 269,934 cases of total knee replacements. In total it would actually save around 19.5 million years of life in adult Americans aged 50 to 84 years old.
For many years health experts have known that cases of knee osteoarthritis is on the up climb in Americans in part due to the increasing obesity epidemic and longer life expectancy. Both obesity and knee osteoarthritis are among the most common chronic conditions among older Americans. Still, how that converts into years of healthy life lost has not been precisely estimated.
Researchers had used a mathematical stimulation model to compile national information on the occurrences of knee osteoarthritis, obesity and other vital conditions such as diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease and chronic lung disease. Their examination reviews the contribution of knee osteoarthritis and obesity to the losses in quantity and quality of life. It also examines how theses loses are dispersed among racial and ethnic sub-populaces in the United States.
There are in total 86 million years of life at stake. These overwhelming numbers may aide patients and practitioners to better understand the extent of the problem and the possible benefits of behavior changes.
In other studies released bariatric surgery (such as gastric banding or bypass) possibly can decrease the pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis however, obesity at an alarming weight could have permanent damage on the knees. A study from Emroy University had revealed that extreme obesity could produce long term and irreversible damage to the knees.
Being just ten pounds overweight adds to the force on the knee by thirty to sixty pounds with each step taken. When overweight the amount of pressure placed on the knee increases stress at could breakdown the cartilage at a faster rate. Also, being overweight has been linked to higher rates of osteoarthritis in the hands and some studies have shown it could also affect the circulatory system.
Women who are overweight have four times more the chance for osteoarthritis and in men the risk factor is five times more.
With just the smallest amount of weight loss helps to decrease the risk for developing osteoarthritis of the knee. Some studies have suggested weight loss can decrease pain greatly for those persons with knee osteoarthritis.
A dietician or nutritionist can aide in devising a plan which is geared specifically for your needs and that will fit into your lifestyle.
Other helpful noted treatments for knee Osteoarthritis:
Manipulations used by chiropractors have been demonstrated to improve range of motion, restore normal movement, improve joint coordination, relax muscles and remarkably reduce pain. Chiropractic care can also use exercise, TENS units, nutritional advice and other therapies to aide in knee osteoarthritis.
There have been some studies that have indicated acupuncture treatments can decrease pain and could aide in the improvement of joint functioning.
A study had shown that patients with knee osteoarthritis who had 40 minute tai chi sessions three times a week for six weeks followed up by six weeks at home tai chi training had decreased pain and improved joint functioning.
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