Is recurring foot pain common?

A fellow caregiver asked...

My Dad was recently diagnosed with gout in his feet. He has medication and his feet feel good for a few days and right back to pain again. Is this common, or should he seek other medical care?

Expert Answer

Jane Andersen, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She provides surgical and nonsurgical foot and ankle care to all types of patients, including the geriatric population in her area. With the American Podiatric Medical Association, she has worked to educate the public on foot and ankle health.

Sometimes gout (an arthritis caused by an increase in the uric acid in your body) can cause chronic pain. More commonly, though, gout will cause acute, sudden pain with redness, heat and swelling in a single joint, commonly in the foot.
The only way to accurately diagnose gout is by analyzing the fluid from the painful joint. In an office setting, a podiatrist or rheumatologist will use a needle and syringe to obtain the fluid and send it to the lab. If there is any doubt your Dad has gout, he should be evaluated by his podiatrist, as there are many other causes of pain in the feet that can mimic gout. There may be other treatment options available as well.