Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects more than
If gout is left untreated, uric acid crystals may start to build up in other areas, such as your spine, rib cage, or skull.
Spinal gout is considered rare. From 2000 to 2014, only
Keep reading as we take a deeper look at spinal gout, including symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Symptoms of spinal gout are
Potential symptoms include:
- back pain or neck pain
- radiating pain down the legs
- pain in the legs while walking
- loss of bladder control
- loss of bowel control
Gout symptoms alternate between flare-ups and periods with no symptoms.
Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid in your body. This condition is called hyperuricemia. However, not everybody with hyperuricemia develops gout.
Your body produces uric acid when it breaks down chemicals called purines found in some foods. Too much uric acid creates crystals that build up in your joints, fluids, and tissues. If
Some people are more likely to develop hyperuricemia and gout.
Spinal gout is managed with a combination of medications and home management strategies. The
A doctor or healthcare professional can recommend the best way to manage your disease. Common treatment options include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or indomethacin, are commonly used to treat pain and inflammation during flare-ups.
Colchicineis an alternative to NSAIDs for people with NSAID allergies, chronic kidney disease, or other conditions that make them ineligible for NSAIDs.
- Lifestyle changes to prevent future flare-ups. Lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet, limiting alcohol and high purine foods, and keeping a moderate weight, can help prevent future flare-ups.
- Preventive therapy. Doctors may recommend drugs, such as
allopurinol, febuxostat, or pegloticase, for preventing tophi and kidney stones.
Flare-ups should be treated in the first
It’s important to see a doctor if you have unidentified back pain or other potentially concerning symptoms, such as muscle numbness and weakness.
The British National Health Service recommends looking for urgent attention if you have symptoms that could indicate an infection, such as:
- you feel sick and can’t eat
- you have a high fever
- your pain is getting worse
Diagnosing spinal gout can be difficult because it doesn’t cause any specific symptoms.
A doctor called a rheumatologist, who specializes in arthritis and diseases of joints, bones, and muscles, can diagnose gout.
A doctor may measure your uric acid levels with a blood test. Uric acid levels above
A biopsy or surgical sampling of uric acid crystals is
- kept a healthy weight
- avoided alcohol
- avoided diuretics
- followed a diet similar to the DASH diet (diet based on dietary approaches to stop hypertension), developed to prevent high blood pressure
A doctor can give you specific strategies to prevent future gout flare-ups. Some changes you can make include:
- eating a balanced diet
- minimizing your intake of purines
- limiting alcohol
- getting or staying physically active
- keeping a healthy weight if you’re a person who’s overweight or a person with obesity
- taking care to prevent joint injuries
Foods that are high or moderately high in purines that you may want to avoid include:
- red meat
- organ meat
- game meat
- some fish and seafood, such as:
Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by the buildup of uric acid. The most common place for gout to develop is in your big toe. Spinal gout is considered rare, but it’s thought that it’s underdiagnosed because it doesn’t cause any specific symptoms.
It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you think you’re having a gout flare-up. Prompt treatment can minimize the severity and duration of your symptoms.