Treatment options for gout in the elbow and other joints include rest, ice application, elevation and certain prescription medications, states OrthoInfo. Long-term medications and lifestyle changes may be necessary to avoid future gout attacks, and surgical intervention may be needed in some cases.
Patients can reduce swelling by applying an ice pack or ice wrapped in a towel to the elbow for sessions of up to 20 minutes, says OrthoInfo. Patients should also elevate the elbow above heart level and move the joint as little as possible when experiencing symptoms. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen may also provide some relief. Doctors may prescribe the FDA-approved gout medication colchicine or corticosteroids for acute gout attacks as well as the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication indomethacin.
Patients who experience severe gout attacks, more than three gout attacks per year, symptoms of gouty arthritis or tophi may need long-term medications to prevent future attacks, states OrthoInfo. Options include colchicine, allopurinol, probenecid and febuxostat. Patients can practice certain lifestyle changes to prevent joint damage, such as exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing calorie intake and avoiding sugary drinks. Patients should also avoid the excess consumption of purines, abstain from alcohol and drink large amounts of water to flush uric acid from the body.