The Painful Condition That Could Affect 6.5 Million Americans By 2020

November 17, 2014 3:17 PM

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The Painful Condition That Could Affect 6.5 Million Americans By 2020

There's a common misconception that if you're not pounding the pavement as a runner, your knees are probably in pretty good shape. In truth, millions of women develop knee problems that aren't related to exercise at all but are the result of everyday wear and tear. One of the most likely culprits? Knee osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease that breaks down cartilage and, in turn, causes bones to grind against one another, leading to painful inflammation. Not only has knee OA become more prevalent, it's also striking younger people. Researchers estimate that some 6.5 million Americans between ages 35 and 84 will be diagnosed with the condition by 2020, and the average age of diagnosis will have fallen from 72 to 55. What's more, women are at greater risk than men, possibly because their wider hips can increase stress on the knee. Being overweight just aggravates the problem: Every pound you gain adds four pounds of pressure on your knees, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Here are ways to keep knee OA from stopping you in your tracks.

Consider this veggie your lean, green joint-boosting superfood. In a 2013 lab study, a compound in broccoli called sulforaphane was found to help protect against OA. According to the results, sulforaphane—also present in other cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower—decre...

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