If you’re dealing with the aches and pains of “wear and tear” osteoarthritis, your best move may be to get on the scale. A literature review in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suggests that carrying too much weight may trigger the biomechanical and inflammatory changes that lead to osteoarthritis, along with all the pain and loss of mobility this condition brings. What’s more, the authors conclude that approximately half of all cases of arthritis of the knee could be avoided if those affected were able to lose weight. This would cut the number of total knee replacements performed annually by more than 111,000 per year. The review also noted that obesity itself is a risk factor for pain, especially in tendons and other soft tissue structures and that white adipose tissue (fat) in obese individuals can actually promote inflammation. Losing weight could diminish pain, restore joint function, and improve quality of life among those with osteoarthritis, the review concluded.