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How to treat pseudogout

Pseudogout is a type of arthritis that causes spontaneous and painful swelling of the joints. It happens with the formation of crystals in the synovial fluids. The fluids functions in lubricating the joints. The swelling causes pain and inflammation. This condition usually affects the knees, but the wrist, ankles and the elbows can also be affected. The symptoms usually last for days or even for weeks. Older people are more susceptible to this condition.

Symptoms of pseudogout

  • Affects the larger joints
  • Severe pain can be felt in the affected joint
  • Swelling due to fluid accumulation in the joint
  • The skin around the affected area looks purple or red
  • The joint is warm when touched
    pseudogout

    Apply an ice pack or cool compress on the affected joint to relieve of the discomfort and lessen the swelling.

  • Limited range of movement of the affected joint
  • Acute pseudogout can happen suddenly without warning, usually last for 6-12 hours of severe pain and swelling.
  • If not properly treated, pain can last from 5-14 days
  • Fever

Causes

  • People older than 60 years old are more susceptible to develop this condition.
  • Injury to the joint
  • Surgery or sepsis
  • Family history of the condition
  • Underlying conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, thyroid disease, Wilson’s disease, acromegaly, hypomagnesemia and alkaptonuric ochronosis can cause pseudogout
  • Overweight people
  • Drinking alcohol

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected joint to lessen the pain and the swelling and for fast healing of the condition.
  • Apply an ice pack or cool compress on the affected joint to relieve of the discomfort and lessen the swelling. Wrap ice in a towel or a cloth before placing to the area for at least 10-15 minutes. Avoid ice directly on the skin to prevent ice burns and worsen the condition.
  • Elevate the area above the level of the heart to lessen the swelling and the inflammation. If knee is affected, rest the area in a footstool. Another alternative is raise the affected foot in couple of pillows to keep it elevated.
  • Aspiration is used by inserting a needle into the affected joint to remove some the accumulated fluid to relieve of the pressure in the joint and lessen the pain. It is used together with a prescribed steroid injection.
  • A prescribed corticosteroid injection to the inflamed joint to relieve of the pain especially for people sensitive to other medications.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen to lessen the pain and the inflammation caused by pseudogout.
  • Avoid being overweight to prevent making the condition worse.
  • Perform regular exercises with the help of the physical therapist to lessen the pain, improve physical function and delay disability.
  • Drink of plenty of liquid especially water to prevent dehydration

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