Root for your team in the Super Bowl this Sunday. Make sure you cheer hard because a loss could cause increased binge eating this weekend.
A recent study showed that the populations of NFL cities whose team lost the Super Bowl consumed more calories and fat the day after a Super Bowl loss. The amount of calories consumed by Americans while watching the game is also staggering. Over 30 million pounds of snacks, including over 11 million pounds of potato chips and 90 million chicken wings, are estimated to be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday annually.
The Super Bowl party is a great event and a celebration of the American passion of football. However, there is a potential price to be paid in joint health if the effects of the party are not addressed.
Increasing body weight can lead to increased pain in the joints (especially lower extremity joints like the knee and ankle). Studies have shown that overweight patients with knee pain experience a measurable decrease in pain as they lose weight in 10 pound increments. The causes of knee pain include arthritis and injuries (such as tears of the cartilage, meniscus, and ligaments). The pain associated with these conditions can be increased if your weight is significantly above your ideal body weight.
What can you do about knee pain?
- Maintain your fitness and optimize your body weight.
- Avoid stressful situations for your knee, such as heavy lifting and repetitive stress, if it is in pain.
- Work on increasing the strength and flexibility of the knee joint. A strong and flexible joint has a much better chance to resist abnormal forces and control pain.
- Seek medical advice about your condition if it fails to improve.
- Have your team win the Super Bowl? Sure, it makes it more fun, but it may also lead to less binge eating the day after the game.
If your knee pain persists after a trial of reasonable measures to improve it, you should consider seeking professional evaluation of your knee. There are many treatments that can assist in recovery and improve the outcome of your knee. Advances such as minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, injections targeted for treatment, and even stem cell therapy can improve knee pain and increase function.
Dr. Josh Bell is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group. He treats all sports-related injuries and conditions of the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle for patients aged 11 years and older. His special interests include sports injuries, total hip replacement, and arthroscopic surgery. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bell, please call 210.281.9595 or request an appointment online.