Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis that typically affects a single joint. The big toe is a common target for gout. When a person's kidneys are unable to filter uric acid crystals out of the bloodstream, the crystals can build up in soft tissue, leading to gout flareups. If you are experiencing frequent joint pain, you should see a foot specialist for a diagnosis. While gout can affect a knee, elbow or wrist, about half of all cases are in one of the big toes. Here is a closer look at the symptoms of gout.