What is gout?
Gout is caused by a build-up of the chemical uric acid in the body which then forms crystals in certain joints. These crystals cause inflammation in the joint which can be very painful. Although uric acid is present in the body, it is usually excreted in urine before it builds up and can cause any damage. However, for unknown reasons, people with gout have an excess of uric acid in the body without it being removed.
Physiotherapy is a very successful way to manage the symptoms of gout, Physio.co.uk have experienced physiotherapists that are able to provide a comprehensive treatment programme to suit your needs.
What are the symptoms of gout?
There are a number of symptoms that can be experienced as a result of gout and this depends on the severity of your condition and if you are experiencing a flare-up which is an exacerbation of symptoms. Your physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will provide you with a full assessment to help identify your symptoms which help to create the most effective treatment programme. Potential symptoms include:
- Inflammation in certain joints, particularly the distal interphalangeal (DIP) and proximal interphalangeal joints (PIP) in the big toe, knee, elbow and wrist joints. If more than one joint is affected at the same time this is known as polyarticular gout.
- Redness and heat over the affects joints
- Unable to carry out your normal activities of daily living or sports
- Tophi (pimples) under the skin from a collection of uric acid
- Stiff especially in the mornings or following a period of inactivity
- Extreme tiredness
How is gout diagnosed?
Gout can be diagnosed using a combination of tests that are advised by your doctor. It is important that if gout is diagnosed, physiotherapy is started as soon as possible to help manage your symptoms as soon as possible. Potential tests include:
- Blood tests
- Testing of synovial fluid for uric acid crystals
- Examination of symptoms
How will physiotherapy help with gout?
Physiotherapy can help you manage the symptoms of gout in a number of ways. Your specialist physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will work with you to devise a personalised treatment programme tailored to your goals. Physiotherapy can help by:
- Controlling your pain
- Helping you carry out your normal activities of daily living
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing tiredness
- Improving your strength and range of movement
- Improving your cardiovascular fitness levels
What physiotherapy will be used for gout?
There are a variety of physiotherapy options used to treat gout depending on your main symptoms and the stage of your condition. You physiotherapist at Physio.co.uk will help decide on the most effective physiotherapy to treat the gout. Physiotherapy may include:
- Pain control
- Electrotherapy including megapulse and TENS
- Strengthening and range of movement exercises
- Cardiovascular activity
- Wax therapy
- Cryotherapy (cold therapy)
- Mobilisation techniques
- Home exercise programme
Gout is a chronic condition caused by a build-up of uric acid in the body which then crystallises within certain joints to produce inflammation and pain. Physiotherapy is a successful way of managing your symptoms during flare ups and should begin as early as possible to optimise your treatment. To book an appointment with one of our specialist physiotherapists, please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 today, or alternatively, book an appointment online today!