What is gout?

Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis affecting about 1% of the population. It typically affects males over the age of 40 and women over the age of 65. Gout is also considered a metabolic disorder which causes uric acid to accumulate in blood and tissues.

A number of dietary and lifestyle factors can contribute the accumulation of uric acid. The joint synovium, cartilage, and bone become supersaturated and the urate salts form needle like crystals within the joint. Once the crystals have formed, there is an inflammatory response within the synovium and tissues resulting in a very hot, swollen and reddened joint.

Gout causes a rapid onset of synovial joint inflammation, swelling, and redness. Joint discomfort can last from days to weeks after the most severe pain subsides. Gout is a monoarticular or single joint problem, however if poorly managed can involve more than one joint (polyarticular).

The most common locations are gout in the big toe, followed by gout in the knee, gout in the ankle, and gout in the midfoot. Gout less commonly affects the hands and elbow and rarely affects the spine, hips and shoulders.

The important features to discriminate between gout and osteoarthritis is the sudden onset and the presence of severe pain and synovial joint swelling. Moreover, the important features to discriminate between gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is rapid onset but more importantly gout is monoarticular where RA is polyarticular.

Symptoms of Gout

  • Acute rapid onset, developing over several hours (not days or weeks)
  • Pain feeling like shards of glass in the joints
  • Very swollen joint
  • Extremely painful
  • Redness around joint, can sometimes look almost purple

Risk factors

  • High alcohol consumption
  • High protein diet, especially red meat and seafood
  • Genetic, related to enzyme disorders
  • Diuretics and poor kidney function - can reduce the excretion of urate
  • Metabolic syndromes – insulin resistance, obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension

Gout Treatment

Physical therapy can be helpful for pain management and secondary joint and soft tissue problems!
If recognised early, then treatment is very effective but delayed treatment or prolonged recurrent attacks can lead to cartilage and bone degradation secondary to a chronic uncontrolled inflammatory response. Therefore, early pharmacological management is imperative for this condition.

For long term success, it is likely that lifestyle changes will need to take place to prevent recurring events.

Locations & Hours

10 Convenient Locations in Calgary. All Physiotherapy clinics have morning and evening appointments available to meet the demands of your busy schedule. Saturday appointments are available at select locations.
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Panther Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Centres are a network of ten clinics, physiotherapist operated, serving Calgary and surrounding areas. Our team offers a wide range of services including physiotherapy, massage therapy, and sports injury rehabilitation to help our clients reduce pain and recover from injuries. Panther Sports Medicine has been proudly serving our community for over 30 years.
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11950 Country Village Link NE
Calgary, AB

10003 - 24th Street SW
Calgary, AB

2010, 356 Cranston Road SE
Calgary, AB

11150 Bonaventure Drive SE
Calgary, AB

4995 Market Street SE
Calgary, AB

Suite 102, 83 Deerpoint Rd. SE
Calgary, AB

425 Marlborough Way NE
Calgary, AB

333 Shawville Blvd SE
Calgary, AB

210 - 11 McKenzie Towne Avenue SE
Calgary, AB

130, 19606 Walden Blvd SE
Calgary, AB
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