Expert Answers: Knee Pain and Depression

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We combed through our discussion boards and social media to see what's on the mind of people living with osteoarthritis. And the topic we found that really rose to the top was pain and depression. And there's a big connection between pain and depression. If you're in chronic pain for something like arthritis, you are more likely to be depressed. If you're depressed, though, that's more likely to worsen the pain.

So you really want to talk to your doctor, because there are treatments that can help both the pain and the depression. Especially if you're clinically depressed, not able to enjoy things you're used to, you really want to seek treatment with your doctor. And something you can do is just exercise. Really, just start moving around a little more. Exercise increases the feel-good chemicals in our brain. It's going to help you feel better temporarily. But regular exercise actually works as well as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.

You know, another common question we got is what can I do for my knee pain? And one of the best things you can do is just lose some weight. You may have heard it before, but you probably don't realize really just how much stress those extra pounds are putting on your knees. Every pound of extra weight is like three pounds on your knees.

But the good news is that by losing weight, even a small amount of weight, you can really get huge benefits on your knees. Lose 10 pounds? That's like losing 30 pounds on your knees. 20 pounds? 60 pounds less. So you really get a sense for even losing a small amount of weight, huge benefits on your knees. And when you start feeling better-- you're losing weight-- you're going to just naturally want to move more. And when you do, you're going to build stronger muscles in your knees. Those strong muscles are going to better support your knee joints and give you even less pain.