A “Dancing With the Stars” alum is sharing a health diagnosis that she was shocked to find out.
Jenny Garth was diagnosed with early-onset osteoarthritis after some X-Rays and an MRI when she was 47, and she has recently shared her story with Insider.
Osteoarthritis is quite common and it affects millions of people around the globe.
“It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones wears down over time. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the disorder most commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis can include stiffness, a decrease in flexibility, pain, and swelling, to name a few. Garth, who celebrated her 50th birthday in April 2022, has not started taking daily medication to help ease her symptoms. Instead, she tries to stay active and keep her joints moving — and she uses an over-the-counter gel when she needs it.
Here’s what you need to know:
Garth Thought She Was too Young to Be Diagnosed With Osteoarthritis
Garth was completely shocked when her doctor told her that what she had been feeling was the result of early-onset osteoarthritis.
“I was like, I’m too young for arthritis,” Garth told Insider. And she’s right. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chances of being diagnosed with the degenerative joint disease increases with age. Garth was only 47-years-old when she received the news.
However, there are plenty of risk factors that can increase one’s chances of being diagnosed, including genetics.
The initial shock of her diagnosis appears to have worn off, however, and Garth is looking at things from a different perspective.
“It was just a new, interesting development in my maturing,” she said. She later added that she wants to raise awareness about osteoarthritis as it can affect younger people.
“When you hear the word arthritis, you associate it with the elderly and people who are immobile who can’t live an active life,” she told Insider. She’s been living with the disease for the past few years.
Garth Has Been Playing Golf Which She Says Helps Relieve Some of Her Symptoms
Garth found something that worked for her when it comes to getting her joints feeling better — and that is playing golf. Not only has she shared some photos and videos of her swinging a club on her Instagram account, but she also talked to Insider about her love for the sport.
“You don’t think of yourself as slowing down or anything stopping you from all the things you do every day,” Garth explained. In addition to golf, she also enjoys going on hikes to keep her body active and to move her joints.
And while one might think that an osteoarthritis diagnosis would slow Garth down, she says that she insists on staying active and living as normal of a life that she can.
“When you know what you’re dealing with physically, there’s always a workaround. I definitely don’t let anything limit me,” she told Insider.