By Lesley Young
A crippling type of arthritis in the joints that occurs in two million Canadians, osteoarthritis (OA) doesn’t show up until later in life. But early childhood injury is one of the biggest risk factors for developing the often-debilitating condition, according to Dr. Gillian Hawker, a rheumatologist and professor of medicine at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.
In fact, research shows that joint injury during adolescence increases the risk of OA in that joint later in life by a whopping 80 percent. Research also shows that young girls are particularly at risk, in part because their hormones may impact muscle tone, making them susceptible to sports injuries such as ACL (ligament) tears.
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