What is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that generally affects the joint at the base of the big toe. Gout is a painful and common condition that occurs due to an excess build-up of uric acid crystals in a joint. The body produces uric acid to breakdown purines, natural substances found in the body that can also be found in certain foods, such as organ meats, seafood, sweetened drinks, and alcohol. Typically, uric acid dissolves in the blood and is eliminated through urination or a bowel movement, but when there’s an excess of uric acid present, urate crystals can form in a joint, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation known as gout, or gouty arthritis.
Gout flares begin suddenly and can last anywhere from a couple of days to many weeks. Gout typically only occurs in one joint at a time, usually in the big toe though other joints can also be affected.
- Burning, itching, or tingling in the joint prior to a flare-up
- Intense pain, especially at the onset of a flare-up
- Inflammation, redness, and swelling
- Limited range of motion of the affected joint
Risk Factors and Causes
Gout usually occurs due to an excess of uric acid in the body and men are more likely than women to be affected due to a naturally higher amount of uric acid. Factors that increase uric acid include:
- A diet that consists of high amounts of meat, seafood, drinks sweetened with fructose and alcohol
- Obesity, due to the kidneys having a harder time eliminating uric acid
- Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart and kidney diseases
- Family history
- Being male, between the ages of 30 and 50
- Being female, post menopause
How To Treat Gout – Mild Symptoms
Mild forms of gout are easily treated and managed by your primary care physician and at home. During a flare-up, your doctor may recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to bring down the swelling and inflammation of the joint and reduce pain. However, gout flares can also be treated without using medicine.
How To Treat Gout with Non-Pharmaceuticals:
- Cold therapy – for mild cases use cold packs to reduce inflammation and numb the pain. Wrap the joint in with a cold pack or compress for twenty minutes at a time, throughout the day as needed
- Rest – limit the use of the joint during a flare-up, and keep the joint raised on a pillow for proper circulation
- Fluids – drink a lot of water to flush your body and keep uric acid at a normal level
- Supplements – tart cherry juice is an anti-inflammatory supplement that can reduce uric acid in the body
How To Treat Severe Gout Using Acoustic Wave Therapy
Though some people may only suffer from mild cases of gout, this form of arthritis is often chronic and can lead to very severe and frequent pain. At-home remedies or prescriptions may not be the best option for these patients, and many may need to look elsewhere to learn how to treat gout pain, especially in severe cases. Acoustic Wave Therapy is an alternative form of therapy that has proven to be very beneficial for some gout patients.
Acoustic Wave Therapy (AWT) is used to improve proper blood flow and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels and repair damaged tissue. The intended goal of Acoustic Wave Therapy is to trigger the body’s natural healing process to treat common conditions affected by poor circulation and blood flow.
Acoustic Wave Therapy uses low-intensity, non-invasive acoustic sound waves to improve existing blood flow and stimulate the development of new blood vessels by a process known as angiogenesis. AWT can also remove built-up micro plaque in blood vessels, and in some cases can even break up scar tissue in old injuries. Acoustic Wave Therapy can help severe cases of gout by providing the joint with enhanced blood flow, reducing inflammation by improving circulation in the joint.
If you want to treat painful gout attacks without the use of invasive procedures or drugs, Acoustic Wave Therapy may be the best option for you. For more information, fill out the contact form below for a consultation. We look forward to helping you!