Gout, also called gouty arthritis, is very common and affects over 3 million people each year in the United States. Although gout can affect any joint in your body it commonly occurs in the joint of your big toe. If left untreated, gout can spread to other joints in your body, causing more pain and inflammation. This condition affects people of all ages. Here are some of the signs that you should be aware of in order to identify the issue.
Intense Joint Pain
Gout can occur in all of the joints in your body, including the elbows, knees, ankles, and much more. The first four to 12 hours after gout starts is usually when the most severe pain occurs.
The feeling of discomfort can last a few days or a few weeks after the severe pain subsides. More severe pain will occur later with pain at lasts longer than the first time and spreads to more joints. It may be difficult to wear closed-in shoes or walk. Wearing sandals may be a better option for shoes.
Inflammation and Redness
The joints that gout affects will be swollen, red, and tender. The slightest touch or brush against something can cause severe pain because the areas are sensitive. Areas that are affected with gout will be warmer than other parts of your body. Swelling may decrease or worsen over time. You may notice the red or purple skin around the joints that are affected by gout due to the tightness of skin caused by continuous swelling.
Limited Range of Motion
As this condition progresses, your range of motion will decrease drastically. You will not be able to move your joints normally and may have to walk differently or change the way you do other things to adapt to the changes.
Treatment Options for Gout
There are self-care and professional gout treatment options available from various medical facilities, like Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. Self-care of this condition includes physical exercise and weight loss. 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least five days each week improves cardiovascular health, as well as, overall health. Professional care for gout includes anti-inflammatory medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications relieve pain inflammation, swelling, and fever.
You don’t have to let gout control your life. Get back to the activities you enjoy by addressing your issues with gout. A pain-free future is not as far as you may think.