Pain from arthritis can strike earlier than you think. Here’s what every woman needs to know about arthritis symptoms, natural remedies, safe exercise, and more.
1. Arthritis is just achy joints, right?
Yes, essentially. Arthritis literally means “inflammation of a joint”—the place where two bones connect, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. More than 100 different types of arthritis exist, but osteoarthritis, which we’ll address in this article, is the most common, affecting nearly 27 million Americans, almost 60 percent of whom are women.
Cartilage—the slippery tissue that protects the ends of your bones in the joint—gradually wears down in osteoarthritis. This can leave you feeling stiff and old lady-ish when you climb out of bed or your knees can feel achier than usual after you work out. Nobody knows exactly what causes this cartilage breakdown, but factors like genetic tendencies, aging, joint injuries may apply.