Back pain is annoying and it can be difficult to find out the reason for back pain. Sciatica pain or back pain can be caused by any number of reasons. From bone spurs to overworked muscles to all the way to slipped discs, anything can set off back pain and there are not many ways to get rid of it completely. Over the last 10 years, rheumatologists have found hundreds of cases of Gout appearing in the spine. So if you’re one of the 8 million Americans that suffer from this inflammatory form of arthritis. If you’re suffering from unexplained back or neck pain, tingling sensations down your arm or leg, or numbness, chances are huge that the culprit could be Gout.
How Common is Spinal Gout?
Gout in the spine is extremely rate, a study in 2016 found only 131 cases in medical journals. But some studies contradict this finding, and it suggests that these cases are more than common. Some early studies suggest there are more cases of gout in the spine than previous thought. Most doctors don’t have enough reasons to look for this.
Gout generally affects the big toe joints and other body parts first, most of the time affecting the knees and tips of the fingers. All the recorded cases of Gout are said to be so painful that the victims can’t even drive by themselves to the hospital.
Over time, Gout can travel to any place of your body. If someone has untreated gout for 10-20 years, it is common to get it in their fingers, wrists, cervical, and lumbar joints. One of the rarest places to get gout is the hip.
How Gout can Affect the Spine?
A study containing victims of back pain showed that 69% of all patients experienced back pain and 66% of patients had increased levels of Uric Acid. All of this in addition to back pain, the study patients described classic neuropathy, which also includes pinched nerve pain down the arm.
More than half of these patients had a surgical procedure named laminectomy, which helps in releasing the pressure on their spinal cord or nerve roots. Another 29% of all patients suggested non-invasive treatments such as Uric Acid lowering medicines.
Most people with spinal gout don’t have any symptoms. Historically, doctors have thought of spinal gout as affecting transplant patients taking organ-rejection drugs such as cyclosporine that are known to elevate uric acid levels. Still, there are more guesses of the relationship between gout and back pain. While there are not many reasons to look for it, when you do, gout is a common problem.
5 Unusual Gout Symptoms
Gout is a huge problem, but it can lead to several problems. This condition is the result of an increased level of uric acid crystals depositing in a joint. Not all cases of Gout are similar, though, different joints can be affected and less common signs may appear.
Here are all the common symptoms of Gout:
The inflammation experienced during gout flare-ups can be incredibly severe and cause fever and other flu-related symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell. These symptoms are most likely to occur when gout affects several joints at the same time.
Patients and doctors should keep in mind:
- Inflammation in one or more joints, fever, and other flu-like symptoms can be caused by gout or another form of arthritis.
- It is possible to have both gout and other forms of arthritis.
2. Lower Back Pain
This symptom is the reason why gout and sciatica problems are suggested to be related to each other. While gout rarely affects the lower back, but according to some experts suggest that a gout diagnosis be considered if low back pain comes with fever and it doesn’t respond to other treatments.
Gout in the low back may affect the lumbar spine and/or a sacroiliac joint. The sacroiliac joints are located on every side of the pelvis between the sacrum and the ilium. Gout in these joints will lead to low pain or hip pain.
3. Kidney Stones
Gout inflammation can happen when there is too much uric acid in the bloodstream. Generally, kidneys filter out uric acid from the blood, and the filtered uric acid is excreted from the body. If the kidneys can’t do their job, and if your body is producing too much uric acid, then the acid ends up building in the kidney in form of crystals.
Uric acid kidney stones are the most common type of kidney stones. Kidney stones can be incredibly painful, but they are treatable. Untreated stones can lead to kidney damage.
4. Wrist Pain
People who experience gout-related wrist pain will generally have polyarticular gout, this is the name of the gout condition that affects more than one joint. An accurate gout diagnosis is difficult to find when symptoms occur in a joint that’s less susceptible to uric acid deposits. When these symptoms appear in the wrist, a health care provider can use ultrasound to have an accurate diagnosis.
5. Bumps Under the Skin
People with chronic gout can develop bumps under the skin. These bumps are known as tophi, and they can be seen and felt. Tophi happens when there are too many uric acid crystals collect together and form small, chalky nodules.
Tophi may develop if gout goes untreated or undertreated for several years. Most tophi are painless and annoying. In several cases, Tophi can be treated and they disappear completely with the help of medication to lower uric acid levels.