Gout: Dr. Rosemary Leonard advises on symptoms and treatment
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Gout can cause sudden and severe joint pain, and the worst thing about it is it comes in attacks that last five to seven days. It’s difficult to predict a gout attack but there are plenty of changes you can make to your lifestyle that can prevent or reduce further attacks. Exercise is one of these things, but you have to be careful in your choice of activity. Express.co.uk reveals the four best exercises for gout.
Gout attacks can be triggered by a number of things, from consuming inflammatory foods to having an illness that causes a high temperature.
But did you know that an injury or too much stress and intense activity can cause a gout flare-up?
That’s right, regular exercise can prevent gout attacks but you need to be very gentle or you could actually trigger an attack.
So, which exercises are good for gout and what do you do if you are experiencing a gout attack?
Exercises that give fast or immediate relief
Gout attacks can be excruciating and make affected joints feel very hot, tender, swollen and so painful that you can’t bear anything touching it.
This normally starts in the big toe but it can also impact the ankle, knee and foot – all crucial parts of the body for exercise.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, this means no exercise until you’re better as stress can aggravate gout and moving the area will make the pain worse.
When you’re experiencing an attack the best thing you can do is to chill out and move the affected area as little as possible
The Arthritis Foundation official advice reads: “Watch a movie, talk to a friend, read a book or listen to music to distract yourself.
Instead of jumping up to exercise, you should call your doctor and make an appointment.
In the meantime, ice and elevate the joint, drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol or fizzy drinks), and ask friends and family to help you with daily tasks to ease the stress on joints.
Even though exercise is a no-no during an attack, it’s a great thing to do while you’re fit and healthy to prevent or reduce further attacks.
The Mitigare site points out that keeping to a healthy weight means there isn’t excess weight on your joints making gout worse.
Physical activity is important for everyone, gout or not because it significantly reduces your risk of life-threatening diseases such as some cancers and heart disease.
You can’t avoid exercise completely and your rheumatologist or general doctor will be able to tell you how much exercise and what exercise to do.
Gout medication brand Mitigare advises staying away from intense cardio and weight training and fitting exercise into your life in the following ways:
- Standing up and/or walking around while you’re talking on the phone.
- Take a few extra trips up and down the stairs at home or at work each day.
- Parking your car farther away rather than closer to the entrance of your workplace. (If you take the bus to work, try getting off a stop or two earlier than usual and walking the rest of the way.)
- Doing as many errands as you can on foot instead of in the car or on the bus.
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