Gout Information

Gout Information

Gout is one of the rheumatic diseases. Of all cases of arthritis, gout accounts for about 5%. In the United States alone, there are around 5 million gout sufferers. Gout rarely occurs in children, adolescents, or young adults. Men, in particular men between 40 and 50-years-old, are considered around nine times more likely to develop gout than women, especially women that haven’t reached menopause.

 

 

 

GOUT



Uric Acid As It Relates To Gout

Before a person can understand gout, they must first understand a condition called hyperuricemia, a condition that occurs when uric acid in the bloodstream rises excessively. Purines are naturally occurring chemicals in the body and also enter the body from food sources like organ meat, mushrooms, and asparagus. When purines are broken down in the body, it produces uric acid. In most humans, uric acid is dissolved and excreted through the kidneys. However, if the body makes too much uric acid or the kidneys fail to excrete sufficient amounts of it, then it accumulates and results in needle-like sharp urate crystals. These crystals pileup in tissues, especially in the synovial joint fluid and the synovial joint lining. The immune system reacts by engulfing the uric acid crystals with white blood cells. The pain, swelling, and inflammation that results is known as gout.

What Causes Gout?

Despite the above known chain of events leading to gout, many with hyperuricemia never develop gout. It still isn’t scientifically clear why this happens, but most research shows genetic links and certain risk factors that can contribute to developing gout. Contributing factors can include any of the following:

* obesity
* moderate to heavy alcohol usage
* high blood pressure
* abnormal kidney function
* hemoglobin disorders
* high purine diet
* medications - thiazide diuretics, aspirin, niacin, some tuberculosis medications, cyclosporine, etc..
* an inherited abnormality in the body's ability to process or excrete uric acid or an abnormality where too much uric acid is produced in the body.
* leukemia
* lymphoma
* hypothyroidism
* joint injury
* hemolytic anemia

Joints Affects By Gout

In most cases, the smallest joint of the big toe is the first joint affected. This is medically known as podagra. Other joints commonly affected include:

* ankle
* heel
* instep
* knee
* wrist
* elbow
* fingers

Stages And Symptoms Of Gout

Gout has four stages that it can pass through, each signified by the symptoms the person experiences:

1. Asymptomatic hyperuricemia - this stage represents elevated uric acid levels, without arthritic symptoms.
2. Acute gout or acute gouty arthritis - at this stage elevated uric acid levels have resulted in uric acid crystals being deposited in the joint space. Symptoms include the following:

* sudden onset of intense swelling and burning pain in the affected joint
* heat, redness, and extreme tenderness to touch over the affected joint
* affected joint stiffness
* attacks usually occur at night
* attacks may follow a stressful event, presence of separate illness, or after drug or alcohol usage
* initial attacks usually subside within 10 days (the next attack may be weeks to years later)
* attacks may be longer in duration and more frequently occurring as gout progresses
* usually only one joint is affected in the acute stage

3. Interval or intercritical gout - this is the asymptomatic period of time between acute gout attacks.

4. Chronic tophaceous gout - this stage typically develops over an extended period of years. Repeated acute episodes of gout has usually caused permanent joint damage and deformity and loss of joint motion. There may also possibly be damage to the kidneys. One or more joint may be affected at the chronic stage.

 

Exercises

1. In relation to a degenerative arthritic condition, the goal of any exercise is to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and maintain range of motion to prevent joint degeneration from progressing. Of course, this must be done without overly stressing the anatomical structures. The Stretching and Strengthening exercises are ideal to build strength and flexibility, while not further inflaming or irritating the joint.


Massage Treatment

1. The arthritic joints should be frequently massaged.

2. One at a time, you should gently take hold of and release each muscle group surrounding the joint.

3. Depress and propel your fingers in a circular pattern around the soft tissues of the joint, paying special attention to the crevices near joints and between bones.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage is characterized by swelling, redness, pain, and possibly a local sensation of heat, indicating inflammation. If coolness makes your pain feel better, then the Acute Stage Treatment is recommended.

 

ACUTE STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The acute stage starts the moment an injury occurs and lasts until the swelling and inflammation are gone. The swelling is the result of the blockage of blood, tissue fluids and circulation in the arthritic area because their normal movement has been disrupted by the force of the injury. Just like cars back up behind a traffic jam, causing congestion, exhaust and overheating; blood and fluids back up behind the injured arthritic area, causing pain, inflammation, lumps and swelling.

The sensation of heat is due to the warming action of the blood and fluids overheating in the injured arthritic area as they back up and accumulate. Stiffness and decreased mobility are due to spasms in tendons and ligaments that have contracted reflexively beyond their normal range from the impact of the injury.

As ligaments and tendons stretch and tear, blood from ruptured blood vessels becomes trapped in the local tissues. As the trapped blood clots up, it sticks the tissues together creating adhesions. Adhesions cause pain, inflammation and restricted movement because the layers of tissue that used to slide smoothly across one another now adhere and snap which interferes with normal functioning. It is essential to break up clotted blood as quickly as possible to prevent adhesions and scar tissue from forming.

During the acute stage it is very important to restore normal circulation to the arthritic area, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, reduce swelling, and reduce the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By restoring the flow of blood, fluids, and circulation in the arthritic area, then pain is relieved, damaged tissues can regenerate with healthy functional tissue, and the arthritic area can strengthen and regain it's mobility.

 

ACUTE STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Apply the Sinew Herbal Ice on your arthritic area to reduce redness, swelling, and inflammation while dispersing accumulated blood and fluids to help restore normal circulation to the arthritic area. This first-aid treatment is used in place of ice to significantly speed up the healing process. It reduces the swelling and inflammation more effectively than ice, allowing you to more quickly regain range of motion. Acute Sinew Liniment can be used in-between applications.

Ice is not recommended because it does not help repair damaged tissues and keeps everything in the injured area frozen, causing the stagnation of blood and fluids and the contraction of muscles, tendons and ligaments. In Chinese sports medicine ice is not used and is considered a culprit in injuries that donít heal well.

2. Massage your arthritic area with Acute Sinew Liniment to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation, break up clotted blood and stagnant fluids, and stimulate circulation of blood and fluids to help cells quickly repair damaged tissues. Sinew Herbal Ice can be used in-between applications.

3. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

 

CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

 

This stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel pain, stiffness, weakness, and/or sensitivity in cold and damp weather. If heat makes your pain feel better, then the Chronic Stage Treatment is recommended.


CHRONIC STAGE SYMPTOMS:

 

The chronic stage begins once the swelling and inflammation are gone, but you still feel aching pain and stiffness. This is because there are still accumulations of stagnant blood and fluids in the arthritic area that are blocking circulation and blood supply to damaged tissues, creating residual pain, stiffness and weakness. You may actually feel hard nodules like sand in the tissue, indicating accumulation, calcification, and adhesions, which all cause pain, stiffness, and joint instability.

Your arthritic area may feel more sensitive to the cold and ache in cold and damp weather due to impaired circulation. When you move your arthritic area you may hear a clicking or popping sound from the tendons and ligaments slipping very slightly in and out of their natural alignment indicating weakness and joint instability, causing chronic pain and a cycle of reinjury. These symptoms are often the result of failure to treat the injury properly from the outset and overicing.

Increasing circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues is very important in treating chronic injuries because tendons and ligaments do not have an extensive direct supply of blood. That is why chronic injuries can be slow to heal. Increasing local circulation also prevents cold and dampness from penetrating the injured area, preventing pain and stiffness.

During the chronic stage it is very important to break up remaining accumulations of blood and fluids, and increase circulation and blood supply to the damaged tissues. By increasing circulation and blood flow in the arthritic area, then pain and stiffness is relieved, and the tendons and ligaments can strengthen to restore stability.


CHRONIC STAGE TREATMENT:

 

1. Massage your arthritic area with Chronic Sinew Liniment to relieve pain and stiffness, strongly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. Sinew Injury Poultice and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

2. Apply the Sinew Injury Poultice on your arthritic area to relieve residual pain and stiffness, significantly stimulate circulation and blood flow to damaged tissues, and further promote the healing of overstretched tendons and ligaments. The Sinew Injury Poultice is particularly useful if your arthritic area is more painful in cold and damp weather. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Warming Soak can be used in-between applications.

3. Soak your arthritic area with the Sinew Warming Soak to ease joint pain, increase range of motion, and strongly increase local circulation to drive coldness and dampness out of damaged tissues. The Sinew Warming Soak is particularly useful if your arthritic area is more painful and sensitive to cold or hurts more in cold weather. The soak can be used by saturating a towel in the liquid and applying it to your arthritic area. Chronic Sinew Liniment and/or the Sinew Injury Poultice can be used in-between applications.

4. The Sinew Sports Massage Oil is recommended for use before and after exercise, sports and strenuous activity. It warms and stimulates your muscles, increases circulation and relieves tightness, hence improving your performance and helping to prevent injury.