What is gout?
Sometimes an obvious injury or trauma is the cause of acute foot pain--you step on something sharp, twist your foot on a curb, fall out of your shoe...you get the idea. For an obvious injury, immediate measures include stopping any bleeding, immobilizing the area (hold it still or wrap it up), applying ice, elevating the limb, and seeking medical attention if necessary.
In the absence of a specific trauma, acute pain in the foot can be a bit more challenging to deal with. One of the more common causes of such a sudden pain onset is gout. An acute attack of gout can cause excruciating pain in a single joint, typically at the base of the big toe. The condition is caused by an excess of uric acid, a naturally occurring substance created from proteins in the body. When uric acid concentrations get too high, they begin to crystallize, and those crystals accumulate in a joint and the surrounding tissue, causing acute pain and inflammation.
Treatment for foot pain of this nature includes:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID's)
- Lifestyle changes aimed at preventing a recurrence of the problem, such as dietary changes to help with uric acid concentration in the body, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding alcohol
- Altering your activities in order to provide ball of foot pain relief
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