It begins with the cartilage in a joint that deteriorates to the point where the bone surface becomes pitted and irregular, rather than smooth. This often causes pain and stiffness, but usually no swelling. If left untreated fractures can become a risk as bones become brittle and osteoporosis is evident.
Joints can make a popping, clicking or banging noise.
Calcium deposits can develop into bony outgrowths called osteophytes. These bone spurs occur in the neck and lower back and are detected by x-ray.
The good news is that arthritis can be reversible and in many cases is curable with proper diet and lifestyle changes.
1. Nelson, E. Miriam. PH.D. Strong Women, Strong Bones (New York: G.P.Putnam'S Sons, 2000) 214-222.
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