As someone living with gout, you are already fully aware of the pain and discomfort that can come with a gout flare-up including going about your daily activities — even just standing! Although doctors would recommend rest and seeking medical attention for severe gout flare-ups, it’s a wise move to talk to your doctor about how to accommodate other activities in your life when your feet aren’t experiencing a flare-up.
What about exercise? When you live with gout, exercise can be even more cumbersome than before. Leading podiatrists agree that while it may be difficult, it’s not impossible to still lead a physically active life when living with gout. When a gout flare-up happens, it can be extremely painful. Gout causes uric acid crystals to rapidly form in the affected joint, which is most often experienced in the big toe joint of diabetic patients. Those crystals are sharp and painful, causing inflammation, tenderness, and radiating warmth from the affected joints when moving or using your feet.
Because of the painful abrasiveness of these crystals, gout sufferers are strongly discouraged from physical activity during a flare-up. However, when gout is controlled or dormant, physical activity is possible. It’s important to consider low-impact exercise as the most gout-friendly way to get fit. Some low-impact and accessible activities to enjoy with well-fitting shoes include taking a leisurely walk, going for a bike ride, swimming, or doing yoga. Depending on what other illnesses or conditions you may have, the lower the impact the better – swimming will reign supreme here as you are nearly weightless when suspended in water!
If you’re worried or unsure about how to get started with physical activity when living with gout, discuss it further with Dr. Scott McKinney. It’s always better to be safe than sorry – start slow and if it’s painful, stop until you can talk with your trusted podiatrist. Call us today at (713) 946-1500 to schedule your next appointment at one of our eight convenient locations in the downtown Houston area!