PDX Monthly has named Dr David Westerdahl one of Portland’s Top Sports Medicine Doctors for 2024. He is the only Doctor in that group recognized by his peers who is not part of a large medical group.

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Weight Loss. You can do it!

Many of our patients have been expressing frustration and concern about weight gained during Covid and a desire to lose weight.  A common theme has been how difficult it is to lose the extra weight.  An individual who gains just 10 pounds has with each step, essentially added 50 pounds of force. Weight gain commonly contributes to additional knee, hip, and back pain.  Commonly, when discussing treatment for hip or kneearthritis pain, the topic of weight loss comes up.  Researchers out of Wake Forest University found that when combined with mild to moderate exercise, a 5 percent weight loss over 18 months reduces knee pain by 25 percent and improves function and mobility.  Weight loss of 10 percent essentially doubles the effect.

For the past couple of years, Covid-19 has created a unique situation for many individuals who have experienced significant changes in work, home, and overall activity levels. Many individuals transitioned from work that was more active and on the go with meetings and travel, to working from their home and sitting for prolonged periods in front of a computer screen. Others who were active in their local fitness clubs or pools also had to adjust when fitness centers closed.  Some have struggled to re-engage in their pre-covid exercise activity either due to loss of access or changed schedules, or loss of a workout partner, all of which result in added difficulty with maintaining exercise routines and staying active. 

Many of our patients express frustration that during Covid they were unable to meet up with their fitness partner to work out together or take part in a fitness class with friends. Since exercising with a friend or partner usually is more motivating and effective at improving physical and mental health, this loss of relationship and workout partner was a double whammy for the mental and physical health of many individuals.  Our patients also tell me that the stress of Covid combined with sitting at home and working from home created a vicious cycle of increased eating due to more access to food, stress about the pandemic, and less activity. All these scenarios easily contributed to putting on a few pounds during Covid. The collective loss of connection with friends and co-workers while experiencing a reduction in activity and fitness, factored into many individuals coming out of Covid heavier than they were when the pandemic started. 


At Sports Health Northwest, we want to help you lose weight and reverse the adverse effects of Covid pandemic related effects. We offer a unique and personalized approach to weight loss and utilize a combination of a comprehensive history and physical exam, lab studies, body composition analysis, specific exercise prescription, lifestyle and dietary modifications, and the use of appropriate prescription medications like GLP-1 agonist, semaglutide.


At Sports Health Northwest, we want to help you create a comprehensive personalized plan to help you lose weight, stay healthy, and feel better. Whether it’s 5 pounds or 50 pounds that you’re trying to lose, we want to help you succeed.  Make no mistake about it, it’s way easier to gain weight than to lose weight. Our team is committed to helping you achieve the goals that will help you look better, feel better, and enjoy life to its fullest.

Dr Westerdahl David Westerdahl MD FAAFP RMSK Sports Medicine Physician and owner Sports Health Northwest, Inc.

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