If you have a red, swollen, warm, painful big toe and it came about relatively suddenly perhaps in the middle of the night, you may have gout.
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. Elevated levels of uric acid lead to the formation of crystals which deposit into a joint resulting in the joint becoming red, hot, swollen, and painful. The initial attack of this condition is usually sudden, symptoms lasting for about a week. The most common joint it affects is at the joint that connects your big toe to the rest of the foot.
Gout is predominantly seen in men around the age of 60. People who have existing health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease are also more likely to get gout. In addition, dietary choices such as frequent consumption of red meats, shellfish, as well as alcoholic beverages can increase your risk.
If you think you may have gout, a Licensed Chiropodist will be able to manage your pain and ease the symptoms.
The main goals of therapy are to terminate a painful attack and prevent recurrences. In general, management of gout involves a prescription oral medication such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory called, Indomethacin.
Then, to help decrease pain, a Chiropodist will aim to immobilize the joint temporarily. This can be done via pads and tape. Your footwear choices are also something to consider. Wearing shoes with increased toe-box depth, increased width and rigidity in the sole can help reduce pain.
If gout related pain becomes chronic, more permanent solutions such as a custom foot orthotic with a rigid extension to reduce mobility in the affected joint may be recommended.