Can cracking your knuckles or wearing high heels cause osteoarthritis? Does this type of arthritis affect only older adults? Discover the truth.
Osteoarthritis, in which joint cartilage breaks down, is the most common form of arthritis, affecting nearly 27 million Americans age 25 and older. In a healthy joint, the ends of bones are encased in smooth cartilage that is protected by a joint capsule and synovial fluid. In a person who has osteoarthritis, the cartilage wears away, spurs may grow from the edge of the bone, and the amount of synovial fluid in the joint increases. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that one out of every two Americans will develop osteoarthritis in his or her lifetime, you can make an effort to prevent it or to manage the symptoms. The more you know about this disease, the more you can do to avoid it.