Gout in the ankle or gout ankle for short is like any other gout attack. It brings with it a lot of pain, swelling and stiffness. The pain is excruciating and is caused by uric acid crystals which are a waste product of your body. These crystals float around your bloodstream depositing themselves in the tissues and the joints.
The thing with gout ankle that is different from gout in the big toe is that gout ankle can actually become painless. foot.
The initial attack will bring with it all the pain and discomfort that is usually experienced with gout:
•It will become inflamed.
•It will hurt like crazy.
•The joint itself will often lock and become immobile.
This obviously makes walking and putting on shoes and socks difficult. However, after some time, usually 3 or 4 days, the pain in the ankle will reduce or even disappear.
It is actually quite odd, because you can see that the foot is massively swollen. Tthe joint is locked pretty much, but the pain is minimal.
From my many gout attacks in my ankles I found that the process of gout ankle was something like this:
Swelling and immobility remains
Gout pain moves out of the ankle joint
Even if your ankle becomes painless it doesn’t mean that gout is done with you. The attack itself is still happening and gout ankle changes into gout in the Achilles or gout in the foot.
I found that whenever I developed gout ankle it would next attack my Achilles. This was excruciatingly painful and then after that it would to a lesser extent attack my knee.
Ways to deal with ankle gout are the same as all gout attacks. They involve making sure you fully hydrate yourself and control your diet.
Gout Ankle Treatments
Different people report effects from different methods for gout ankle. This well intentioned flood of information adds to the overall gout confusion. To be perfectly fair it depends on several variables including:
•Your own personal ability to bear pain
•The reason you are treating your gout
•How long your acute gout attack has been allowed to happen for
•Your hydration levels
Gout Ankle Treatments – Ice Therapy
Ice is the most common advice but this is not necessarily so good. Ice therapy is not intended to get rid of your gout. Ice therapy for gout ankle is to numb the pain. It doesn’t help to get rid of gout, but it does help to mask the torture. It does this by restricting blood vessels and blood flow to the area and numbing nerve endings. If pain is your main concern ice could be the answer you’re looking for.
Gout Ankle Treatments – Heat Therapy
The pain of gout in the ankle can also be eased by hot foot baths. Depending on how much gout pain you can handle this may be too extreme. This is because instead of decreasing blood flow it increases it. The rationale behind this is it causes blood vessels to widen. This means the uric acid crystals can move out of the area quicker.
My own method used to be:
- Get a deep container (12 inches or so). I used a food storage container as this was big enough to fit my foot in without having to bend it.
- Boil a large kettle / sauce pan of water.
- Fill the container until it covers the top of the foot with warm tap water and then keep adding hot water from the kettle / pan.
Your tolerance for heat increases as you gradually keep topping up the water. I would keep topping up the water until the kettle was empty.
This for me soothed a lot of the pain even if only for a short time. It also increased the blood flow to the area which is great as the flow of blood is what helps to move the uric acid crystals around.
Many people report therapeutic effects from using Epsom Salts in the water.
It also improved joint mobility. However, the effects of this treatment were short lived. As the gout ankle cools down, the blood vessels constrict. As this happens the ankle joint becomes stiff again. By making sure you use a deep container you can also heat up your Achilles. This is under a lot of muscular strain because of the fixed position of your gout ankle.