Watch your weight to improve arthritis symptoms

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis. However, there are some things you can do to help manage the disease and improve your symptoms.

No cure but you can improve symptoms

One of the most important is to keep a healthy body weight, mainly for protection of your knee joints. Being overweight is a major risk factor for knee osteoarthritis. It increases the risk of OA developing and makes the symptoms worse.

OA happens when cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of bones where they form a joint, breaks down. There are two main ways for OA to develop. The first is through forces acting upon the joints. The second path is through an increase in inflammation, which leads to an increase in pain. Fat creates and releases chemicals within the body that promote inflammation.

Body weight directly influences both pathways. Being overweight not only increases the load placed on the knee joints which can help to speed up the breakdown of cartilage, it also makes the condition worse.