Jennie Garth has osteoarthritis

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Jennie Garth has osteoarthritis credit:Bang Showbiz
Jennie Garth has osteoarthritis credit:Bang Showbiz

Jennie Garth has early-onset osteoarthritis.

The 50-year-old actress thought she was "too young" to have the condition - which affects the joints and is caused by the gradual wearing down of cartilage - when she was first diagnosed at the age of 47 after feeling stiffness in her hands and fingers and pain in her knees, and now she refuses to let the degenerative disease "limit" her.

She told Insider: "I was like, I'm too young for arthritis. When you hear the word arthritis, you associate it with the elderly and people who are immobile, who can't live an active life.

"It was just a new, interesting development in my maturing. You don't think of yourself as slowing down or anything stopping you from all the things you do every day.

"When you know what you're dealing with physically, there's always a workaround. I definitely don't let anything limit me."

Jennie finds stretching, playing golf and hiking with her dogs helpful for her symptoms and although she doesn't take prescription medication for her condition, she often applies an over-the-counter gel which offers "relief" to her aches and pains.

The 'Beverly Hills 90210' star took time to feel comfortable opening up about her diagnosis but she's keen to show it can strike anyone, whatever their age.

She said: "I didn't want to be that person who talks about their ailments.

"When you hear the word arthritis, you associate it with the elderly and people who are immobile who can't live an active life."

This isn't the first time the actress has experienced issues with her health, as she previously revealed she was diagnosed with a leaky heart valve at the age of 30.

She said: "Down the road, it's something that could get more complicated or not.

"People have had valve replacements and that kind of thing."

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