10% of U.S. Adults Physically Limited by Arthritis
Experts say obesity epidemic has widened the pool of disabled
The hand and the knee are the joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis, White said.
"Just a little weight reduction and physical activity decreases osteoarthritis of the knee and takes away your pain," she said. "It's amazing what just a little bit can do to stem the tide."
White noted that many people with knee arthritis will end up getting a knee replacement. "But that's not the answer," she said. "If you are obese, the outcome of a knee replacement is much worse."
According to Consumer Reports, a knee replacement can cost anywhere from $17,800 to $42,750, depending on where in the United States it's done. Most insurance, including Medicare, covers the procedure, but there are additional costs involved in recovery and rehabilitation.
"If you have a little bit of knee pain, you need to get active now, because you really can prevent this," White said.