The more weight one puts on a certain point, the weaker it becomes. This holds true for our joints as well, meaning that over time, weight-supporting joints often begin to weaken. However, although you might believe that avoiding exercise and the stress it places on your joints might help to keep your joints healthy, the opposite is actually true. Floating through life in a sedentary manner does the body absolutely no good because as everyone knows, a sedentary lifestyle is one factor that contributes to obesity. And because being obese increases the weight your joints have to bear, a lack of exercise can seriously damage your joints.
The stress of added weight forces joints into unnatural positions. An overweight person, for example, does not walk with a sure, smooth gait. Instead, they wobble and waddle back and forth because the hips are constantly stressed outward due to extra fat between the thighs. Likewise, circulation to these joints decreases due to smaller passageways. Clogged or compressed arteries do not deliver the correct amount of blood to any part of the body, including the joints. And a joint without oxygen cannot adequately function.
What’s more, joints stressed by excess weight send more stress to other joints. An injured knee, for example, must rely on the other knee and the hips for stabilization because it cannot support itself. If this continues, those other joints will also become injured and stressed, and the process will continue throughout the body.
Losing weight is the only sure way to decrease the stress that obesity places on your joints. However, physical therapy is another option for patients who either cannot lose weight or who have already lost weight and would like to begin the process of restrengthening their joints. Dr. Baumstark and his team of physical therapists at PhysioDC, Washington, DC’s premier physical therapy office, are equipped to help patients with personalized exercise and therapy plans to undo the damage that obesity has caused to their joints. For more information on why PhysioDC is the DC area’s top physical therapy choice, click here to visit them online, or check out these selections from Dr. Baumstark’s physical therapy blog: