By 2020, nearly 6.5 million Americans between the ages of 35 and 84 are expected to be diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. More than half of the new cases will appear in people as young as 45 to 64 years, and by 2020 the average age of diagnosis is expected to fall from 72 to 55.1
Why are so many young people suffering from this painful degenerative joint disease, which has historically been associated with wear-and-tear and joint deterioration that occurs over a lifetime? Rising rates of overweight and obesity likely play a role. Arthritis rates are more than twice as high in obese people as those who are normal weight, because the extra weight puts more pressure on your joints, as well as increases inflammation in your body.
This not only leads to osteoarthritis, it can also make joint pain from any cause exponentially worse. Another clue as to why knee osteoarthritis is on the rise? It occurs about twice as often in women as in men. This is partly due to anatomy – women tend to have wider hips, which adds stress to your knees.2 Another contributor, however, is women’s footwear, specifically high-heeled shoes.
Research from Northwestern University School of Medicine found that over 40 percent of men and 56 percent of women with knee osteoarthritis were inactive, which means they did not engage in even one 10-minute period of moderate-to-vigorous activity all week. This is unfortunate because the notion that exercise is detrimental to your joints is a misconception. There is no evidence to support this belief. Instead, the evidence points to exercise having a positive impact on joint tissues. It can also improve bone density and joint function, which can help prevent and alleviate osteoarthritis as you age.
And if you exercise sufficiently to lose weight, or maintain an ideal weight, you can in fact reduce your risk of developing joint pain due to osteoarthritis rather than increase your risk. As Harvard Health Publications stated. “Each pound you lose reduces knee pressure in every step you take. One study found that the risk of developing osteoarthritis dropped 50% with each 11-pound weight loss among younger obese women.”
If older men lost enough weight to shift from an obese classification to just overweight… the researchers estimated knee osteoarthritis would decrease by a fifth. For older women, that shift would cut knee osteoarthritis by a third.”
Did you know that chiropractic can also slow this progression? Keeping movement in the spine increases active and passive range of motion decreasing the onset of early degeneration to include DJD, Disk problems and arthritis.
April is Patient Appreciation Month! If you have a friend or a loved one that you feel could benefit from our Chiropractic care please refer them to our office and mention Patient Appreciation Month. This enables them to receive their first at no charge as a gift from you.
One never knows if Chiropractic can help unless they get checked and find out. Please feel free to use this yourself if you have not been in the office recently! This includes consultation, examination, and any needed x-rays. (This Program Expires April 30th.)