Gout is inflammatory arthritis caused by deposits of uric acid, a naturally occurring byproduct of protein digestion. This results in a build up, most often in the feet first, which causes intense pain. Typically it begins in and around the big toe, instep, and heel. If severity increases pain can be experienced in other joints.
Gout affects men significantly more often than women. Men who are middle-aged or older are most likely to suffer it. First signs are often shown between 40-55 years of age. Women typically would not show signs until years after menopause.
Gout and massage therapy can be a tricky thing as it is actually not a good idea to receive a massage while having flare-ups or severe attacks. Your filtration system (kidneys and organs) are already under stress and increasing your circulation at this time is not always recommended.
However, when you feel that your gout is minimal or under control a massage that focuses on other parts of the body can be helpful. Lymphatic work, PNF (stretching based modality), and Swedish massage can be refreshing and relaxing. It is important to note that ice therapy is not recommended on gout affected areas.
Consulting with your doctor and maintaining a good balanced diet are crucial. Staying well hydrated and avoiding diuretics (alcohol and caffeinated beverages) is also helpful.
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