Is it OK to walk with gout?

Medical News Today: It is safe for people to walk with gout. In fact, doing joint friendly activities such as walking can help improve gout-related pain.

Gout is a form of arthritis that usually affects the big toe joint, but it can also affect the lesser toes, ankles, and knees. It normally affects one joint at a time.

People with gout may find it difficult to carry out physical activity, or they may be worried that physical activity will make their gout worse.

This article will examine whether or not it is safe to walk with gout. It will also cover how to manage, treat, and prevent this condition.

Can people walk with gout?

Walking with gout is safe, even in cases of severe arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source note that doing joint friendly physical activity is important in improving gout-related pain.

Joint friendly activity is any activity that does not put too much stress on the joints and minimizes the risk of injury. Such activities may include:

  • walking
  • cycling
  • swimming

Experts recommend that adults take part in at least moderate intensity physical activity for 150 minutes per week. However, the CDC recommend that people with gout start slow, pay attention to how their body tolerates exercise, and slowly add more time.

People should take care to adjust their physical activities according to the gout symptoms they are experiencing. This may involve reducing the amount of time spent exercising if symptoms get worse.

Risks

Some of the risks associated with walking or doing moderate physical activity include causing injury to the joint or worsening gout symptoms.

The Arthritis Foundation recommend:

  • wearing form-fitting clothing to ensure that the clothing material does not get caught on anything, such as equipment
  • wearing supportive, comfortable shoes
  • using a stationary bike if cycling, as this can reduce the risk of injury
  • starting slow and not overdoing any physical activity

Tips for management and avoiding walking

A gout flare is the sudden onset of gout symptoms. Flares can last for days or weeks.

When a flare occurs, people can reduce their gout symptoms by doing the following:

  • icing the affected joint to reduce the pain and swelling
  • elevating the affected joint to reduce the swelling
  • resting the affected joint

This means that if a person is experiencing a painful gout flare, they should avoid walking to reduce swelling and pain. The Arthritis Foundation also recommend taking over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, and using a walking aid, such as a cane, to relieve pressure on the joint.

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