Foot injuries can often be severe. Even if the injury is not too severe, it can still make basic movements difficult for a time. Two injuries that are often confused with each other are Gout and Plantar Fasciitis.
Even though both of these injuries cause difficulty in movement, they still vary in almost everything else.
- Gout is caused by excess uric acid in the body, while plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the foot’s plantar fascia ligament.
- Gout primarily affects the joints, while plantar fasciitis affects the foot’s heel area.
- Gout is treated with medication and lifestyle changes, while plantar fasciitis is treated with rest, stretching, and physical therapy.
Gout vs Plantar Fasciitis
The difference between gout and plantar fasciitis is that gout can affect any joint of the body, such as the wrist, ankle, etc., whereas plantar fasciitis affects the foot only. Both injuries’ causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, etc., also vary significantly.
Gout is a disease that is a common form of inflammatory arthritis. It mostly affects the big toe joint but can also affect any other joint in the body. It can often be very painful when symptoms worsen, and gout flares appear.
Plantar fasciitis is a disease resulting from a plantar fascia’s inflammation. It only affects the bottom of the foot that runs from the heel to the toes. Most plantar fasciitis cases resolve by themselves without professional treatment.
|Parameters of Comparison||Gout||Plantar Fasciitis|
|Causes||Excessive uric acid in the blood.||Physical activity, overweight, pregnancy.|
|Affected Area||It can affect any of the joints in the body.||It only affects the foot.|
|Symptoms||Reddish joints, swelling, intense pain, etc.||Heel pain, arch pain, etc.|
|Diagnosis||Joint fluid test, Ultrasound, etc.||MRI test, X-ray test, etc.|
|Treatment||Medications include NSAIDs, Corticosteroids, etc.||Ultrasonic tissue repair, physical therapy|
What is Gout?
Gout is a disease that is a result of hyperuricemia. Hyperuricemia is defined as a rise of uric acid in the blood. Dehydration, metabolism disorders, blood disorders, etc., cause this rise in uric acid.
Gout affects about 4% of the population worldwide. The disease can affect any of the joints in the body but is most common in the big toe joint.
Some common symptoms of gout include swelling and redness of the affected joint, burning sensation, and tenderness in the joint to the point where it is unbearable to touch.
If mild gout is left untreated, it can become much more severe to the point where it cannot be cured and lasts for a lifetime. However, medications and physical therapy can marginally reduce the symptoms to mild discomfort only.
Since gout is a result of hyperuricemia, it is linked to diseases beyond the joints. Therefore, gout can cause many other organ-related problems, including permanent joint stiffness, cardiovascular diseases, kidney damage, etc.
Gout is more commonly observed in middle-aged men and is caused by both genetics and environmental factors. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc., are prone to gout. However, the inheritance of this disease is scientifically unclear.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a disease that is caused by the inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. Plantar Fascia is a thick fibrous tissue that connects the heel to the toes of the foot.
It supports and balances the foot arch, which helps in walking. Plantar Fasciitis affects about 10% of people worldwide. The disease affects only the heel of the foot and is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
Some symptoms of plantar fasciitis include stabbing pain in the heel and arch, limping, swelling, and tenderness of the feet. The pain is excessive when walking after prolonged inactivity or rest.
Mild symptoms of the disease are self-treated. However, in some cases, untreated plantar fasciitis can result in small tears in the plantar fascia.
As a result, the pain gradually keeps increasing before it becomes a serious injury. Therefore, getting the condition diagnosed in its early stages is still advisable. Both men and women above 40 years of age only get affected by plantar fasciitis.
Overweight people possess an even higher risk because of the increased pressure on the plantar fascia. There are promising treatments available for the disease, including physical therapy, steroidal surgeries, and other medications.
Main Differences Between Gout and Plantar Fasciitis
- Gout is treated by a medical professional, whereas plantar fasciitis, in most cases, is self-treated.
- Gout can affect any of the joints in the body, whereas plantar fasciitis affects only the foot.
- Severe gout does not have a direct cure, and mild symptoms last for a lifetime. On the other hand, plantar fasciitis can be cured with promising treatments.
- Gout is not a common disease, whereas plantar fasciitis has become much more common than a few decades ago.
- Untreated gout can cause various other problems in all internal organs of the body, whereas untreated plantar fasciitis causes problems in only the lower body.
I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️
Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.