Gout: Excruciating Arthritis Flares
Imagine getting sharp burrs stuck to your socks. If one gets between your sock and your shoe and presses into your foot, it can be quite uncomfortable. The sharp hooks and barbs poke the skin and make them difficult to eliminate. Your body can create something similar to tiny burrs inside your joints. These tiny crystals cause an excruciating condition known as gout.
A Different Kind of Arthritis
Gout is a type of arthritis, or inflammation and damage in your joints. It slowly breaks down the soft tissues that protect your bones, making it increasingly uncomfortable to use the affected joints normally. Any joint can suffer from this disease, but the base of the big toe in the ball of the foot is the one most commonly affected. The condition develops when deposits of sharp uric acid crystals build up in between the bones in your joints. These crystals scrape and injure the tissues until the issue subsides—at least until the next flare-up.