A Holistic Approach to Joint Health

Read the full transcript below.

Hello, I’m Dr. David Katz talking to you again about joint health and joint support.

If you suffer from joint issues of any kind, you’ve got lots of company. We know that over 50 million people in the United States suffer some form of joint discomfort or joint problem limiting their activity. And that number actually is projected to rise to about 67 million people by about 2030. So this a big problem and really, it is part of an even bigger problem. And I say that as the president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine because lifestyle is really the issue here.

For one thing, we have widespread obesity and it’s important to know that excess weight puts a burden on joints. In fact in a 2009 study by Stephen Messier, showed that for every extra pound of weight our bodies carry, it translates to four more extra pounds of pressure on our joints. Ten pounds … forty pounds of pressure on the joints. And so if we’re carrying around a lot of weight, the pressure on our joints is enormous. And then of course, this becomes an iterative problem because more pressure, more joint issues … more joints, less ability to exercise … harder to keep the weight off, more weight gain.

What this leads into, by the way, is in no way blaming anyone for the difficulties of weight control. We’re all in that together. Quite the opposite. What this really puts the focus on is the importance of a holistic approach to anything related to health, joint support included.

If you’ve got joint discomfort, it may be hard to sleep. If you don’t sleep well, sleep deprivation may contribute to weight gain. Weight gain puts pressure on joints. So really important is you think about your own joint health.

Think about all of you, not just your joints. Think about your overall health. And really to support healthy joints, you’ve got to support your health. That means making sure you sleep well. And if you’re not sleeping well, talk to your doctor about that and explore the reasons why. That can usually be fixed. If you’re struggling with your weight, obviously the things you can do yourself include trying to eat well and being regularly active. And if you have joint issues limiting your activity, try to be as active as you can.

But maybe you need expert help to adjust your diet or to find ways you can be physically active despite joint limitations. And of course if you’re having joint issues, taking a properly formulated supplement can lend support to your joints. And once you fix any of these, you start to be able to fix them all. If you get the joint support you need, you can be more active and your joints are not as much of an issue in your life. You may sleep better. You may eat better. And you may start to have the opportunity for overall better health. And that’s really what a holistic approach to health is all about.

So that’s the view from Altitude today. We’ll drill down into more details next time. For now, I’m Dr. David Katz wishing you well.