Q:

Will moist heat help with gout pain?

A:

Quick Answer

Cold compresses or cold packs are more likely to provide relief to gout pain sufferers than heat, says WebMD. Resting the joint and increasing water intake are also recommended home care treatments, and there are medications available to provide pain relief as well.

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Full Answer

Gout flare-ups are caused by a build-up of uric acid around a joint, according to WebMD. This substance forms uric crystals, which cause pain around the joint. Some people report warning signs just before the onset of a gout attack, such as stiffness, burning or tingling in the affected joint. Gout may occur in the toes, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles or instep.

Patients with a gout diagnosis who have received medication from their doctors should take the medication when the flare-up occurs, states WebMD. However, there are some home treatments that can offer some relief. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medicines such as naproxen (Aleve) can help. Doctors sometimes recommend taking these OTC drugs in prescription doses, and patients should follow these instructions carefully.

In addition to medications, says WebMD, self-care such as cold compresses and rest can also be effective. Patients should increase their water intake and avoid foods high in purines or fructose, such as seafood, as well as alcoholic beverages.

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