Painful Elbow Joint? See A Rheumatologist About Gout

If you experience severe bouts of pain, inflammation, or swelling in one of your elbows, you may blame it on tennis elbow. Although tennis elbow and other types of injuries can cause elbow pain, so can a rheumatology condition called gout. A rheumatologist can determine whether or not gout caused your elbow pain. Learn more about gout and why you should see a rheumatologist below.

What's Gout and Can It Occur in Elbows?

Gout is a common form of arthritis, or inflammation of the joints. Gout generally occurs in your feet and toes but can show up in any small or large joint in your body. Gout forms when small pieces of crystalized uric acid build up in your joints, including the elbow joints. Uric acid is a byproduct of purine, a chemical compound found in red meat, some vegetables, and even the human body.

Gout causes a number of painful symptoms to occur in adults, including swelling and redness. The condition may limit your ability to bend your elbow, raise your forearm, or even flex your biceps. The symptoms of elbow gout generally get worse with time.

Most adults don't find long-lasting relief from their symptoms until they see a rheumatologist for care.

How Can a Rheumatologist Help You?

A rheumatologist treats various diseases of the musculoskeletal system, including gout. In order to treat your elbow gout effectively, a rheumatologist may look for abnormal quantities of purine in your blood, kidneys, and other organs. Purine can be a leading cause of elbow gout.

A doctor may also check your elbow joint for severe signs of inflammation or deterioration. Gout may not be the only form of arthritis in your elbow. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia may also affect the body's most delicate joints.

If a rheumatologist finds excessive purines in your body, they may ask or direct you to:

  • limit your consumption of foods that contain excessive purines
  • cut down on your consumption of beverages that trigger gout, including beer and alcohol
  • consult a nutritionist to help you make healthier changes to your diet

If a rheumatologist discovers another form of arthritis in your elbow, they may:

  • place you on medications to control the condition as well as the symptoms it creates
  • direct you to wear a brace or another mechanism on your elbow
  • access and repair your elbow joint with surgery

A physician may offer, prescribe, or recommend other treatments for you as well.

Learn more about elbow gout and how to address it by contacting a rheumatology specialist today, or by visiting a local clinic, like Sarasota Arthritis Center.