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What is it?

What causes it?

Gout is type of inflammatory arthritis. It typically affects the big toe [1].

Gout flare up of the right big toe joint with swelling, redness, and pain

Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid, which can form crystals inside the joints. Excessive uric acid can be a result of your lifestyle (e.g. too much alcohol, red meat, shell fish, etc.), or may occur if your kidneys are not functioning properly [1,2].

What are the symptoms?

Gout is extremely painful. If affected, your big toe will become red, hot and swollen, and may throb.

What podiatry treatments are available?

  • Footwear alterations and advice – here at Open Podiatry we can adapt your footwear to accommodate any swelling, which will improve your comfort levels, and you will be advised on the best type of footwear to wear.

  • Insoles – our podiatrist will assess your feet and determine if insoles may be able to help the problem, by deflecting pressure away from your painful and swollen big toe joint when you walk.

  • Lifestyle advice – we can provide advice on how to manage your diet to prevent gout from occurring in the future.


1.     Rome, K., and McNair, P. (eds) Management of Chronic Conditions in the Foot and Lower Leg. Churchill Livingstone: London.

2.     Rome, K., Survepalli, D., Sanders, A. et al (2011). Functional and biomechanical characteristics of foot disease in chronic gout: A case-control study. Clinical Biomechanics, 26(1): 90-94.

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