Walking can be a painful task

Gout is a painful inflammation of the joints most commonly isolated to the joint at the base of the big toe. This type of arthritis is severely painful and causes great discomfort while walking. Someone with this condition will experience extreme tenderness along the joint line as well as skin warmth and swelling.

What is Gout?

Gout can affect various joints of the foot and other joints in the body such as the ankle or knee. Acute gout is most commonly located in MTP joint of the big toe, which is the large joint at the base of the big toe. The pain in the joint is most often sudden and severe and will cause limping. Men are much more likely to develop gout than women.

What Causes Gout?

One of the known causes of gout is a metabolic disease which deposits uric acid into the joints. The metabolic defect causes an overproduction of the uric acid. Gout can also occur when the kidneys lack the ability to eliminate enough uric acid. Another noted cause is the use of a thiazide diuretic for the treatment of hypertension.

What Can I do?

  • It is important to wear shoes that fit properly. Do not where shoes that put pressure on or squeeze the affected area. Look for a shoe with a wide toe box and a rocker bottom sole to help relieve pressure on the metatarsal heads and joints.
  • Adding a metatarsal pad and some shock absorption beneath the foot can also help provide some relief.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications are commonly prescribed at the beginning of onset and icing the joint can help to take the swelling down.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe a medication which will help to decrease the production of uric acid or help with uric acid elimination.
  • Those who are susceptible to gout may want to consider a "gout diet," which primarily focuses on avoiding foods that will increase the production of uric acid.