Physiotherapy for Gout – Gout is a common form of arthritis that can result in sore, swollen, warm, red and stiff joints.
Gout occurs in people due to uric acid building up in the body. A substance called purine, which is derived from the foods you eat; such as dried beans, peas, liver and anchovies, is broken down in the body to form uric acid. Uric acid is then dissolved in the blood stream, where it passes through the kidneys and is removed from the body through urine. However, in some cases uric acid may build up in the form of crystals that can form deposits in joints causing pain. These crystals may also increase your risk of developing kidney stones.
Usually gout occurs in the big toe of the foot, however, gout can also affect the heels, ankles, knees, fingers, wrists and elbows. Gout may get better within few days, however the symptoms often last for prolonged periods and are recurrent.
A person is more likely to get gout if:
- The person is a man – gout is less common in women
- The person is overweight
- The person has a family history of gout
- The person drinks alcohol
- The person eats a purine-rich diet
In most cases gout is not easily diagnosed. Your health care practitioner may take a sample of fluid from the swollen or inflamed joint to examine the crystals and uric acid concentration. Your health care practitioner may also assess your current medications as certain medication may encourage gout as well.
Pseudogout is frequently confused with gout as it causes the same symptoms. Pseudogout, however, occurs due to the buildup of calcium phosphate and not uric acid.
Treatment for Gout
Physiotherapy may benefit people with gout if they are recovering from a gout attack or are trying to adjust to usual exercise gradually. Physiotherapy may encourage blood flow in a safe manner to the affected gout regions with exercises and also relieve pain in a natural, side effect-free way. Physiotherapists at i Physio Perth are experienced in treating gout and can create a tailor made program for you that is specific to your goals, situation and level of pain.
Many people suggest that maintaining a proper diet also plays a role in controlling gout, and this important knowledge can also be discussed here at i Physio Perth. Our health professionals can discuss diet plans with you and advise you of foods to limit and foods to increase.
Intense exercise during an attack may worsen symptoms of gout, however, massage treatment and therapeutic exercises may assist in the reduction of symptoms. Any form of massage from i Physio Perth, or a program of safe stretching exercise from our physiotherapists, can prevent the muscles around the affected region from becoming stagnant. These techniques also allow the affected regions to be supported by a rich blood flow, which will enhance healing.
As well as encouraging blood flow, stretching exercises will help make your body more flexible. i Physio Perth physiotherapists will help you perform moderate stretching exercise to help increase circulation and reduce stiffness around the joint areas. You can perform simple, low-impact exercises such as knee bends, which may help reduce inflammation and relive tension in the joints.
To perform a knee bend exercise, lean over and slightly bend your knees, while trying to touch your toes.
You can also perform range of motion exercises that are performed in yoga, Pilates and tai chi. Our physiotherapists at i Physio Perth will be more than happy to devise a program for you based on these therapeutic, strengthening and beneficial practices.
These exercises are performed to tone and condition your muscles to improve your joint health. You can use light dumbbells, under your physiotherapist’s supervision, to perform leg exercises such as lunges and squats. These exercises will increase circulation in your legs and joints and prevent inflammation.
To perform a simple leg exercise, hold a pair of dumbbells—one for each hand – and bend your knees with your back straight. Keep bending until your hamstrings are parallel to the floor, and then slowly stand up.
It is important to seek advice from a health care professional before undertaking any exercise program to ensure you maintain correct technique and are working towards your own specific goals. Here at i Physio Perth we have physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and remedial therapists who can offer you stretching exercises, strengthening exercises, massage and diet advice to assist in the treatment of your gout.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on 9444 8729 to start getting you back on track today.