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Good News… Weight Loss Can Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain – Understand the symptoms and risks of Osteoarthritis From the Cleveland Clinic

I can certainly attest to this, kind of.  While I don’t know if I had osteoarthritis or not, I do know that before I lost the weight I ached all over.   My feet hurt, and my back hurt.  When going to the grocery store, I’d have to lean over the cart and push with my forearms.  Sound familiar?
Now, I’m not sore at all.  I’m not having to carry around, as of today, 94 lbs.  I always tell people that when they lose 5 lbs, 10 lbs, etc. to go to a store or gym and pick up a weight or something that weighs the amount they’ve lost.   It really puts it into perspective and can propel you on.
Good News… Weight Loss Can Reduce Osteoarthritis Pain – Understand the symptoms and risks of Osteoarthritis From the Cleveland Clinic
By  | 6/10/12 10:30 a.m.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis with an estimated 27 million Americans affected by it. In Motion talked to M. Elaine Husni, MD, MPH, director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center at Cleveland Clinic, to learn more about it.

IM: First of all what is OA and where does it affect a person?

OA is the most common joint disorder and the most common form of arthritis. As we age, the cartilage – the tissue that cushions the bones in our joints – breaks down and wears away and bones can begin to rub together and cause pain and loss of function. It commonly affects the knee, hip, spine and hands.

IM: Who is most at risk for developing OA?

While it is often associated with age, more than half of those with arthritis are younger than 65 and nearly 60 percent are women. And many studies have highlighted that the biggest risk factor for developing OA is being overweight or obese.

IM: What amount of weight would you need to lose to reduce the chances of having OA?

The specific amount of weight an individual must lose to improve health outcomes is not certain, however, studies have found that for every 11-pound weight loss, you can reduce your risk of OA by 50 percent.

IM: Can you tell us more about the study you are conducting on OA?

We are excited to launch a new study that assesses how to optimize non-surgical management of knee osteoarthritis. We will be studying how best to use viscosupplementation (injections) and physical therapy for pain management and to improve function of knee OA.

If you are interested in learning more about this research study for possible participation, please contact research assistant Nikola Mesinkovski at 216.444.7474 or

IM: What can people do to lessen the impact of OA?

Losing weight can improve your symptoms. Here are the four basic things you can do:

–       Know your BMI (body mass index). BMI is measured by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. (Your doctor can help you with this.)

–       Measure your waist circumference which can be an indicator of health risks. For men, it is considered too high if it is greater than 40 centimeters, and for women, it is considered too high if it is greater than 35 centimeters.

–       Make at least moderate physical activity a regular part of your day, progressing to 30 minutes or more most days.

–       Look at your diet and be sure to focus on eating a low-fat, low sugar, high fiber diet. If you need help, work with your doctor or a nutritionist.

Dr. Husni, Director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center, is a rheumatologist specializing in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. To make an appointment with Dr. Husni or any of our physicians within the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center, please call 440.312.6242.

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