13 Jul Gout: Causes, Symptoms and Physiotherapy
What is Gout?
Gout, also called “Gouty arthritis” is an extremely painful form of arthritis very common in men between the ages of 40-60. Most often the pain is in the big toe as well as in the ankles, knees, calf, feet, wrists, and elbows. Sometimes, the pain is so intense that even the touch of a blanket on the toe causes severe pain. Usually, it affects a single joint but increased severity can affect many joints, this is called polyarticular gout. About thousands of people in India suffer from the condition.
What causes gout?
The high uric acid level in the blood causes gout. Uric acid is produced by our body and consumed from foods we eat, like tomato, mustard, beans, peas, and other lentils. Usually, the extra uric acid in the body gets filtered in the kidneys and gets passed along with urine. If the excess uric acid fails to go out of the body with urine, crystals of monosodium urate form in the joints and tissues. Those crystals cause severe pain in joints. Consumption of too much alcohol can definitely increase the level of uric acid in the blood and that might lead to gout. Causes include:
- Daily consumption of meat and seafood
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problem or kidney stone
- Certain antibiotics
- 20% chance increases if the person has a family history of the condition
- Heart disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
What symptoms you can have?
- Intense joint pain especially during the night
- Pain in a single joint for a few weeks that spreads to other joints
- Inflammation in the joints
- Joint redness
- Leg cramps or joint stiffness
- Inability to carry heavy things
- Finger weakness
Physiotherapy for gout
The level of uric acid can be revealed by blood tests other than that ultrasound and X-rays can be used to confirm the diagnosis. Physiotherapy may benefit you with regular exercise and massage. Physiotherapy increases the flow of blood and relaxes the muscles in the area of gout and can increase the intense pain. Physiotherapy will increase mobility with :
- Stretching exercise
- Strengthening exercise
- Endurance exercise
- Cardio exercise
- Muscle massage
The other ways to control gout are:
- Change in diet
- Weight reduction
- Reduce the risk of cholesterol
- Improves the risk of diabetes
- Medication to reduce the level of uric acid in the blood