Towns typically have emergency action plans, particularly if they are in areas where they might see a lot of damage from natural disasters, like tornados or hurricanes. Although it’s unusual for these particular disasters to hit Lancaster and Indian Land, emergency plans help towns work out ways to respond and protect people when some kind of disaster strikes. It’s a good idea to have emergency plans for yourself for several situations, including your foot health. Health “disasters” like gout attacks can cause a lot of physical damage and keep you off your feet for a while.

Unfortunately, unlike hurricanes, tornados, and big thunderstorms, a gout attack usually strikes without any warning. The pain comes out of the blue. Often it hits at night with enough force to wake you up. The best way to alleviate the discomfort and shorten a flare-up is to get treatment in the first day or so of the attack’s start. For that to happen, you need to recognize the symptoms and get a diagnosis right away.

The first and most obvious symptom is sudden, sharp pain in one or more joints—usually the base of the big toe. Normally the discomfort is at its most severe in the first 12 hours, but it can remain intensely painful for a couple of days. The affected joint will appear red and swollen. It will also feel warm to the touch and be extremely sensitive to any kind of pressure. Your digit will stiffen and be more difficult to move as well.

As soon as you notice these symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate care. Don’t wait. Our team at Carolina Podiatry Group will use a few different tests to see if your symptoms are from a gout attack or a similar condition. Once you’ve been diagnosed and a flare-up caught, you can begin that emergency treatment to manage the condition. If you’re concerned about your joints, or think you may have experienced a gout attack, let us know. Just contact one of our South Carolina locations. Call (803) 548-FEET for our Indian Land office, or try (803) 285-1411 for our Lancaster location.

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