Gout is one of the more common foot conditions that we see in our office, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to treat. Many foot conditions get better when people swhich to a more supportive or protective shoe, but as evidenced by a a recent study, that’s not the case with gout.
According to researchers out of New Zealand, treating gout with orthopedic footwear changes does little to help the inflammatory condition. Although study participants reported minor decreases in pain and impairment, the footwear changes did little to address the underlying condition. Researchers stated that footwear interventions have been proven beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, but not for the similar-pathed problem of gout.
Why Not Gout?
Unlike other arthritic condition that affect the joint, gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream. This can lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in the joint that break down structures and cause painful joint inflammation. While footwear can do a little to help your foot feel more comfortable during a gout attack, it doesn’t do anything to protect or help heal the damaged joint.
So what treatments should you be trying if you’re bothered by acute or chronic gout attacks? You’ll want to try treatments that reduce uric acid levels and that help calm joint inflammation. Those options include:
Rest – Resting the joint will help calm the inflammation and give the joint time to heal.
Hydrate – You have more uric acid levels in your body if you’re dehydrated, so it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water throughout the day if you’re prone to attacks or in the midst of dealing with gout.
Dietary Choices – Your diet plays a big role in the onset of gout attacks. Red meat, seafood, and alcohol can all lead to increases of uric acid in the body. Making good dietary choices can go a long way in preventing gout attacks.
Anti-Inflammatory Medications – As the condition elicits an inflammatory response from the joint, anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful in the short term.
Exercise – Exercise is important in gout management, but when you exercise is probably the most important. Exercising while you’re dealing with an inflamed joint can lead to more inflammation and pain. Instead, opt for gentle stretching exercises to maintain your range of motion. When you’re not dealing with a flareup, exercise can help to strengthen the joint and fight back against joint damage and degeneration.
If these at-home remedies fail to help you find relief from gout, reach out to Dr. Silverman’s office for a consultation. For more information, or to set up an appointment, contact Silverman Ankle & Foot today.