A Doctor's Advice
Arthritis Today|Fall/Winter 2020
FOR DR. TRAVIS STORK, A SIMPLE TOE INJURY LED TO ARTHRITIS AND BACK SURGERY.
LINDA CHILDERS

Mornings are hard for Travis Stork, MD, the charismatic former host of The Doctors television talk show. He wakes up with pain and stiffness in his toes, knees, hips and spine, so it can take a while to get moving and navigate the stairs in his Nashville home, he says.

Dr. Stork is known for sharing medical advice with television viewers and has authored several health books, but the 48-year-old physician admits he wasn’t always as careful about his own health.

From Injury to OA

Years ago, he jammed or hyperextended a toe, and his body still reminds him of it.

“When I was in my 20s, just before starting medical school, I sustained a turf-toe injury playing basketball,” he says. “Rather than seeing a doctor, I continued playing sports that exacerbated my injury, and as a result I developed bone-on-bone arthritis in both of my big toe joints.”

He finally consulted his doctor, who sent him to an orthopedist. Yet after corrective surgeries on both of his toes failed to provide relief, he reluctantly acknowledged that living with pain and stiffness might be his new normal.

As a result of his painful feet, he started having back problems, too. “Since it hurt to put weight on my foot, I altered the way I walk, and that put more pressure on my knees, hips and spine,” Dr. Stork says.

“I subsequently had surgery on my neck and spine. Three years ago, after my spine surgery, I decided to begin looking at ways to proactively minimize my chronic pain and maximize my joint function,” he says.

Relief Without Surgery

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