Gout is a form of arthritis that can attack any joint in the body, and though gout in the knee is not the most common form, this part of the body is just as susceptible as any other. What causes this painful illness is the accumulation of an acid called uric acid which, when left unprocessed, causes crystals to form at a particular joint.
This then causes a painful inflammation of the affected part of the body, rendering it useless for any length of time, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. The buildup of this acid could either be caused by excess production or the body’s inability to process the natural amount of uric acid produced, such as in the case of a failing kidney.
Lifestyle habits are among the main causes of increased uric acid production, such as the consumption of too much alcohol, sugar, red meats, etc. Lack of physical activity can also make on more susceptible to getting gout as well as anything that causes damage to the kidneys.
Usually occurring at night, the first signs of gout in the knee are aching or painful throbbing sensations. This is ideally where you want to begin to look into the cause of these pains, as gout is best treated as early as possible, though it is understandable why this first sign is ignored. Joint commonly ache, especially with older people, of which gout mostly affects, so this first symptom is ignored until the onset of something more sincere.
What follows next is stiffness in the knee. This should be a clear indicator that something very wrong is going on in your knee and qualified medical help should be sought out immediately. In just a few hours time, the pain will increase tremendously, as the most painful part of a gout attack is in the first 24 hours, and it is important to diagnose the problem as soon as possible so as to avoid taking the wrong medication. The cause of this pain is the aforementioned crystallization of the uric acid in the joint, causing inflammation that will prevent the joint from moving freely.
By this point in time, the affected area will be as visibly affected as it is painfully felt, just a few hours into the attack. There are a number of measures that can be taken to reduce the effects of inflammation and the pain felt.
The best thing to do would be to lie on your back in bed so that the knee is rested and not in contact with anything. Do not attempt to put it to use, even if you think you can, as this will only aggravate the problem.
Cool it down
Ask somebody to help get an ice pack and wrap it around the knee for about half an hour before giving it a break. Do this continually throughout the length of the attack to reduce the inflammation.
Yes, through the bouts of pain, keep yourself hydrated. You need as much fluid as you can get in your system to unclog the crystals that have formed and drinking good old water is the best way to do this.
If you did not have prescribed medicine available already, you should ensure that help is on the way so that that the appropriate medicine is prescribed for you as soon as possible. The medicine given is to reduce the inflammation, reducing the damage on the joint and subsequently easing the pain.
Wait It Out
Gout in the knee can be really bothersome. For some, it means lying in bed for weeks, and it is important you always have someone around to help with you with what you need. A pair of crutches would be needed to help you the few times you would need to get up so that you are not forced to use the affected knee.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you need to relax and distract yourself. Just as long as you are following all the recommended treatment methods, with the guidance of a qualified doctor, you should focus on other distracting activities to keep your mind of the pain. Managing the issue well is key to moving on from the experience unaffected.