Pseudogout, like gout, is a form of arthritis. Pseudogout mimics gout in its symptoms and can affect numerous joints for days or even weeks at a time. Symptoms of pseudogout include swelling and irritation of the joints and pain, which can become severe. Like gout, pseudogout is caused by a buildup of minerals in the joints. But although gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, pseudogout is due to a buildup of calcium pyrophosphate.
Prevention and Healing
When it comes to pseudogout, prevention is a big part of the cure. While it will not help eliminate the crystals that have already formed in the joints, keeping the muscles and tissues around the joints affected by pseudogout healthy and strong can help prevent further buildup and deterioration. To keep the muscles and tissues healthy, maintain a regular exercise routine. When the joints stay active, the fluid in the joints keeps moving, preventing buildups. Begin with gentle exercises. Strenuous exercise can actually cause more inflammation and pain in the joints. Gentle exercises should not have a negative impact on the joints if done slowly. Exercise programs like yoga, pilates and t’ai chi use slow, easy movements that shouldn’t be too strenuous. Make sure you pay attention to your body. Stop if you feel any pain and rest the affected area so as not to increase the swelling.
Lessening the pressure on the joints can help reduce inflammation and pain. To lessen pressure, consider losing a few pounds if you are overweight. Less weight will result in less pressure.
Pseudogout treatments consist mostly of pain reduction techniques. There are no medications with the ability to dissolve the crystal buildups in joints that cause the inflammation, swelling and pain. Some of that inflammation and pain can be prevented, though. Place an icepack on the inflamed joint to help relieve the swelling and reduce pain. A compress made of cold cabbage leaves wrapped in a bandage can also help reduce pain and swelling.
Resting the area will also help eliminate the inflammation and pain of pseudogout. Since symptoms increase with pressure, one of the best ways to combat the pain is to stop putting pressure on the area.
While they can’t eliminate the condition, over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by pseudogout. Use gentle medication, like ibuprofen or naproxen, to alleviate pain.