Town Center Foot & Ankle

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Clarkston, MI 48348


Posts for: January, 2012

By nick
January 17, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Because we often indulge in all the goodies available to us during the holiday season, there is often a spike in the occurrence of gout cases doctor sees. While gout is not caused by our diet, gout can be triggered by one's diet. The type of foods most associated with triggering gout are: beef, pork, lamb, beer, mushrooms, spinach cod, scallops, haddock, asparagus, oatmeal and dried beans - to name a few. Continue reading below to gain a better understanding of what gout is, how it happened and some things we can do to resolve this issue.

Gout is a systematic disease (i.e. condition that occurs throughout the body) caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints.  An elevated blood level of uric acid (called hyperuricemia) occurs when the liver produces more uric acid than the body can excrete in the urine, or when a diet high in rich foods (e.g. red meat, cream sauces, red wine) produces more uric acid than the kidneys can filter from the blood.

Over time, uric acid in the blood crystallizes and settles in the joint spaces, causing swelling, inflammation, stiffness, and pain.  Gout usually affects the first metatarsal phalangeal joint of the big toe (hallux) or the ankle joints.

Gout is caused by the buildup of uric acid in the joints.  Approximately 18% of people who develop gout have a family history of the condition, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease.  Diseases and conditions that increase the risk include diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, and sickle cell anemia.

Regularly drinking alcohol interferes with the removal of uric acid from the body and can increase the risk of developing gout.

Gout usually develops in the joint of the first toe (i.e. the big toe, or hallux).  Common symptoms included the following: inflammation, pain, redness, stiffness and swelling.  Touching or moving the toe may be intensely painful and patients often say that having as a bed sheet over the toe increases joint pain.

The goal of treatment is to decrease the amount of uric acid in the joints, which helps to reduce symptoms and prevent further attacks.  If left untreated, affected joints may be damaged, causing disability.

Treatment may involve nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication.  Due to potentially severe gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects, NSAIDs should only be used as instructed.  Corticosteroids may be taken orally or injected into the affected joint.  These medications usually resolve symptoms in about a week.

Prevention is the best defense against gout.  Medication may prevent continued accumulation of uric acid in the joints and further attacks.  Avoiding alcohol and rich foods that are high in purine (i.e. scallops, sardines, red meat, sweetbreads, gravy, cream sauces) also may help to prevent the condition.

Other preventative measures include the following:

·        Drink plenty of fluids (especially water)

·        Exercise regularly

·        Maintain a healthy diet and healthy body weight

·        See a physician regularly

·        Acute Flare-ups should be treated immediately!

Making running part of a workout routine leads to better physical stamina and a more positive state of mind-but a detrimental foot injury can quickly stop runners in their tracks. Keeping feet healthy and pain-free can go a long way toward ensuring that every run is enjoyable, for both experienced runners and those just starting out. Following a few simple steps provided by theAmerican Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), before hitting the trail or treadmill, can keep foot and ankle injuries at bay.


"Some of the most common running-related foot injuries that today's podiatrists treat are arch pain, tendonitis, and blisters," said APMA president

Kathleen Stone, DPM

. "However, if runners can take just a few minutes to stretch properly pre-workout, select appropriate footwear, and see a podiatrist immediately when foot pain occurs, many of these ailments can be avoided entirely."

In order to get the most out of each run without falling victim to injury, APMA recommends the following:

Select a good running shoe: According to Karen Langone, DPM, president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), the most important running tip is proper shoe selection. "A running shoe purchase is dependent upon the type of foot and function of the foot for the individual. Runners should research shoe construction and keep in mind that footwear can vary in size from one manufacturer to the other," she said.

APMA has recently given several running shoes its Seal of Acceptance for allowing proper foot function, including models made by Puma, Mizuno, Asics, Reebok, Avia, and Ryka. A sports medicine podiatrist can help aid in the footwear selection process if needed.

Select good socks: Runners should always fit shoes with the socks that they plan on wearing during a run. Socks should be made of a poly-cotton blend that pulls moisture from the skin, fit well, and be comfortable when worn with a running shoe.


Stretch out and build momentum: Before a run, begin by

warming up and gently stretching for 5-10 minutes, focusing on lower leg muscles. Amateur runners should start with short distances,


increasing distance over time to help prevent injury. All runners should begin every workout slowly, as this allows the body to warm up further and decreases the chance of muscle strain. Runners should also focus on keeping both the feet and entire body relaxed, avoid tensing or cramping toes, and run with a gait that feels the most natural. Cease running immediately if any pain is experienced.

Cool down and rest: After reaching the end of a running workout, cool down and stretch for about 10 minutes. Submerging the lower extremities in an ice bath after longer runs can reduce muscle soreness, as can the use of a self-massager designed for post-athletic activities (Health Enterprises Therapeutic Hot & Cold Foot Massager has the APMA's Seal of Acceptance).

Muscle pain is common after exercise, and minor injuries may be treated with the RICE regimen (rest, ice, compression, elevation). However, if pain does not resolve itself after several days-or returns immediately upon resuming exercise-runners should seek out care from an APMA member podiatrist immediately.

Frequent runners should see a podiatrist on a regular basis to maximize any running program and prevent serious injury.