Plenty of things in life are outside of your control, like the weather, traffic, or your height. However, understanding those factors can help you adjust and compensate with the things that you can change. If you know it’s going to rain, you can grab an umbrella. If you know traffic will be heavy, you can adjust when you drive. If you know you have trouble reaching high places, you can get a step-stool. The same is true of health risks, particularly for chronic problems like arthritis. You may not be able to control whether or not you develop this condition, but if you know how at-risk you are, you can accommodate your foot needs.
The first step for preparing for conditions like arthritis, then, is assessing your risk—both the factors that are outside of your control and those that aren’t. There are a few specific, unchangeable things that increase your odds of joint damage:
- Age – The older you are, the longer your feet are subjected to wear and tear.
- Gender – Women are more likely to develop most types of arthritic pain, although gout is more common in men.
- Genes – Some kind of joint inflammation actually run in families, making it more likely you’ll also get it if your family has it.
Other issues that contribute to joint pain are at least somewhat controllable:
- Weight – Being overweight or obese puts incredible strain on your feet and joints, increasing inflammation damage.
- Injuries – Accidents and other problems can injure your joints and create irritation in those tissues.
- Overuse – Frequent, repetitive motions can wear down the protective joint tissues.
If you have a high number of uncontrollable factors that increase your risk for arthritis pain, do your best to take care of your feet by adjusting the changeable factors.
All of this is easier said than done, of course. That’s where we can help. Let our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona work with you to take care of your feet and minimize your arthritis risks. You can make an appointment with us through our website. You can also call or fax either office: for our Gilbert location, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229; for our Chandler location, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375.