Gout and Pain

In a recent article published in Rheumatology titled “Generalized pain hypersensitivity and associated factors in gout,” the researchers found that generalized pain hypersensitivity may be present in up to 1 of 5 people with gout, based on data from 97 individuals.

The pain associated with gout is mainly related to inflammation and typically resolves; however, gouty arthritis may create chronic pain between gout flares because of bone erosions and deformities.

Generalized pain is an important finding in patients and can impact their daily lives, and the management differs from that of localized inflammatory pain,” Theodore Fields, MD, attending rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell College of Medicine, NY, told PPM.

“We have seen generalized pain reported in patients with many of our chronic rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis,” Dr. Fields said. Data from the current study and other research suggest that chronic pain of an inflammatory type can, over time, lead to a concurrent central and more generalized pain, he noted.

TAKEAWAY: Prior gout research has shown that the use of urate-lowering therapy is lower than it should be, which means more gout patients to have more frequent flares and for more gout patients thus move into a chronic phase, with discomfort much of the time.

The above study reveals clinically significant pain, which highlights the need for improved pain understanding and management in this population.