Inflammation and pain are caused by uric acid in your tissues and joints, which is a common form of gout. It happens in the feet and joints, particularly the big toe, and can wake you up in the middle of the night.

While gout can be quite painful, there are things you can do to treat it, such as changing your diet and taking medication. But during an acute flare-up, you might need a mobility aid if you find it difficult or too painful to walk.

If you have a gout flare-up, it’s a good idea to contact a doctor to access treatments that can help manage your gout. Your healthcare team can recommend a treatment program that might include medications to help you feel better, such as corticosteroids and over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatories.

crutches can be used to take your weight off of a painful joint.

When you contact a healthcare professional for a diagnosis, you can ask if crutches would help you stay mobile while you wait for a flare-up to go away.

Many insurance companies will cover the cost of crutches if your doctor recommends them. If you have surgery, the hospital may send you home with a set. The advantage of getting crutches from your doctor is that they can fit properly.

“If you don’t have insurance or crutches, there are nonprofits that will lend you equipment. You could either buy them online or rent them. A friend or family member might be able to lend.”

There are different types of crutches, and not all of them may help. Most crutches work by transferring weight from your lower to your upper body, but that may not work well for everyone.

There are three types of crutches.

  • The crutches are on the underarm.
  • The crutches on the forearm.
  • crutches for the forearm

The right crutches can lead to falls or injuries, but a medical professional will usually know which type you need.

It is important to use crutches correctly to avoid injury and gout.

Here are some tips for using the most common type, called The crutches are on the underarm.:

  • Make sure your crutches are in good shape. The pads should be close to your body. The hand grips should be held with a slight bend in your elbow.
  • Try to hold your weight in your hands.
  • To avoid tripping, wear flats or sneakers.
  • There are cords, rugs, holes, and even the ground is not safe.
  • You can spot tripping risks if you use the crutches in a well-lit place.

Our guide has tips on how to use them in a variety of situations.

Canes

The Arthritis Foundation also recommends using a cane if it’s too painful to put pressure on your joint.

Canes are classified into three or four points. Some people need more points for added stability, but most people just need a single point.

The foundation has some recommendations.

  • You should wear walking shoes.
  • You can use a cane to hit your wrist crease.
  • Move with your weaker side if you hold your cane on the stronger side.
  • It should be in front of you when you walk.

Gout footwear

Some people find that having the right footwear helps them.

While a small 2019 study showed that special footwear didn’t help with gout foot pain in the long term, it did help in the short term.

The researchers recommend shoes that conform to your foot, are flexible, and have a wide opening. The study participants walked a little faster with shoes with those features.

There are many gout orthotics available online. Speak with your doctor or specialist about what types would help you the most.

Racial disparities in gout pain

In a 2016 study comparing health-related quality of life between Black and white people with gout, researchers found that Black people were more likely to have functional limitations and a lower quality of life than white people.

A 2014 study by one of the same authors also found that Black people reported more pain and emotional burden than other populations.

The interventions above can help you stay mobile in the event of a flare-up, but experts need to perform more research to determine and address the disparity.

Even if you have gout, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends walking or doing other joint-friendly exercise to manage your weight and stay healthy. In fact, many physicians may recommend weight loss, including with exercise, for people with gout who have obesity or overweight.

“You can do some activities with gout. They are low impact activities that don’t put you in danger of injury. If you have a painful flare in your feet, your doctor might recommend that you avoid walking for a while.”

If you choose walking as your activity, the CDC suggests the following:

  • Start slowly and build up to more as your body adjusts.
  • 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is what you should aim for.
  • If you feel pain after exercising, modify your activity by exercising less frequently or for shorter periods.
  • “Make sure that your activity doesn’t put a lot of pressure on your joints.”
  • There are safe places to be active.
  • Speak with your healthcare professional or certified exercise specialist about your exercise plans.

Flare-ups can be made painful by gout, which can make it hard to walk. Mobility aids can help you in the short term until you get treatment for gout.

crutches or canes are used to relieve pressure on the joint. Experts recommend that you stay active and reduce gout symptoms, if you do these things.