Imagine walking up the stairs with a 10-pound sack of potatoes. Now imagine those potatoes are extra body weight. Carrying around as little as 10 excess pounds puts an extra 40 pounds of pressure on your knees.
CHI Health physician Casey Beran, MD, who specializes in orthopedic surgery and adult joint reconstruction, says the number-one thing we can do to help our knees is keep our weight in check.
“Patients carrying extra weight have effects from not just the impact on their joints, but also on the way their knees work,” Dr. Beran said. “Where a person carries extra weight can lead to big problems with the alignment of the knee."
The Institute of Medicine reports knee pain affects some 61 million adult Americans and it doesn’t get easier as we age. While there are over-the-counter products that claim to protect or improve joint health, Dr. Beran says to be skeptical — there is no credible evidence to support those claims. Dr. Beran says the best thing you can do for yourself is stay active and lose those extra pounds that your knees are carrying around.