At Texas Foot Specialists we find that patients don’t have a good understanding of arthritis, a condition that can have a big impact on the health of your feet and your quality of life. In honor of World Arthritis Day this week, we thought it would be a good time to get rid of some common misconceptions about joint disease.
MYTH: Arthritis is a disease that just affects senior citizens.
FACT: The first misconception is that arthritis is a single disease. Arthritis is a common way of referring to joint pain and joint disease. There are over 100 different kinds of arthritis. Joint disease can strike people of any age—two thirds of the adults who have been diagnosed are under the age of 65—and even children can get it. Arthritis does not discriminate—both sexes and all ethnicities are affected.
MYTH: There’s nothing you can do to prevent arthritis.
FACT: While it’s true that there are some factors that can predispose you to arthritis that you cannot control, such as genetics and age, there are ways that you can reduce your risk of getting joint disease. These include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Being obese puts excess strain on the joints and increases the likelihood of arthritis.
- Exercising. Regular physical activity, particularly the weight-bearing type, helps strengthen bones and keeps your joints flexible.
- Avoiding unhealthy foods. Did you know that there are foods that actually can trigger an inflammatory response? Fried and processed foods, sugars and refined flours can all cause joint inflammation.
- Taking safety precautions. Wearing protective gear while playing sports, taking the time to warm up and cool down and following general safe practices when driving, climbing ladders, etc., can all help prevent injuries. This is important because arthritis often develops at sites where an injury has previously occurred.
MYTH: There’s no real treatment for arthritis so there’s no reason to seek medical evaluation.
FACT: There are many ways to relieve arthritis symptoms. Perhaps even more importantly, early diagnosis of joint disease can slow the progression of joint damage and disability. That’s why, if you have any symptoms, please contact our Pasadena, Houston or Sugar Land office so one of our podiatrists, Dr. Bruce Miller or Dr. Gregory Mangum, can determine the cause of your joint pain and prescribe the correct treatment.