Living with osteoarthritis can be challenging, but have you considered weight loss as part of your management? Our dietitians are here to help!
What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a condition that affects the whole joint including bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. It can affect any joint but occurs most often in the knees, hips, finger joints and big toe. It can develop at any age but tends to be more common in people over 40 or those who have had joint injuries.
Symptoms vary and are dependent on which joints are affected. Now, the thing with OA is that it tends to come on slowly over months or sometimes even years. The most common symptoms we see are pain and stiffness of the joints and you may notice that your symptoms start to affect your normal daily activities. This is something to take note of, as well as other symptoms such as clicking noises, grating sensations, loss of flexibility.
3 things to consider with OA:
- You are more at risk of OA if you are overweight, have a previous injury, have a job involving heavy lifting or a family history.
- Joint surgery is usually only an option if less invasive treatments such as weight loss, exercise, medications have been unsuccessful in controlling your symptoms.
- A 5-10% weight loss can make a significant impact. For example if you are 80kg, this would be between 4-8kg. Our dietitians will tailor a weight loss plan that is suitable for you and your lifestyle with the aim of a sustainable weight loss of 0.5-1kg weight loss per week. Many of our clients are shocked to learn the impact that small changes can make to their pain!
As annoying as it can feel to manage osteoarthritis, there are many things you can do to live well with osteoarthritis.
- Contact your doctor for treatment and advice and learn as much as you can about OA so that you can play an active role in your management.
- Learn appropriate ways to manage your pain.
- Find ways to remain active and prioritise regular exercise with the guidance of a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.
- Consume a healthy diet and maintain an ideal body weight (this is where we can help!)
There are so many wonderful benefits of seeing a dietitian including weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved pain and possibly reducing the need for surgery.
Ready to take back control of your osteoarthritis? If you would like more information about how we can help, book in to see one of our experienced dietitians today.