The higher your body mass index (BMI), the more likely you may be to suffer from a greater amount of pain if you have osteoarthritis (OA) in your knee, compared with people who have lower BMIs. That’s the conclusion of a study recently published in Rheumatology, the journal of the British Society for Rheumatology.
As a result of the study’s findings, researcher Elizabeth Weiss from San Jose State University’s Department of Anthropology, suggests that losing weight may reduce the pain of knee OA, even if the symptoms aren’t treated.
The study is the latest in a growing body of evidence that highlights the link between OA of the knee and BMI, a measurement used to assess whether or not a person is a healthy weight for their height.
BMI is a calculation that divides your weight by the square of your height. According to the World Health Organisation, a healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, while 25-29.9 indicates you may be overweight. If your BMI is 30 or above, you are classified as obese.
This study analysed information on 4,769 people who took part in a US-based multi-centre observational study called the Osteoarthritis Initiative. It looked at a number of factors, including the volunteers’ BMI, the severity of their OA as assessed through X-rays, and self-reported pain scores.
The results of the analysis suggest that knee pain increases with OA severity, while statistical techniques and tools showed that – even when taking into account the severity of OA – people with higher BMIs experience more pain than those with lower BMIs.
“Yet another study supports the usefulness of losing excess body weight and the reduction of osteoarthritis symptoms,” says dietitian Martin Lau of The Arthritic Association. “If you are a Gold member who is struggling to lose weight, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.”
The Arthritic Association’s recommended diet for people with arthritis – the Conquest Diet – has helped many members to lose or manage their weight. The charity believes weight loss may help to reduce pressure not just on the knee joints but the hip joints too.
Find out more about The Arthritic Association and how it could help you manage your arthritis symptoms by reading 7 Reasons to Choose our Programme.