Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease caused by aging and obesity and is the most common cause of chronic disability in older adults. However, a recent study featured on Science Daily reports that intense weight loss may help ease knee pain and improve overall mobility.

Researchers from Wake Forest University recruited 454 overweight and obese older adults who were diagnosed with pain and radiographic knee osteoarthritis. The participants were assigned to diet-induced weight loss plus exercise, intensive diet-induced weight loss, or exercise programs to see which would work best.

Based on the results, those who were in the diet group and the diet-and-exercise group lost more weight than the exercise group. They also had lower levels of Interleukin 6, which commonly causes osteoarthritis. Participants in the diet-and-exercise group also reported having less knee pain and were able to walk better and faster compared to the other groups.

"The findings from [this trial] suggest that intensive weight loss may have both anti-inflammatory and biomechanics benefits; when combining weight loss with exercise, patients can safely achieve a mean long-term weight loss of more than 10 percent, with an associated improvement in symptoms greater than with either intervention alone," the authors conclude.

So if you're suffering from knee osteoarthritis due to age or obesity, you may want to reconsider the kind of lifestyle you have. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you eating right? If not, then it's high time you do right by your body and start living a healthy lifestyle.

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(Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr Creative Commons)

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