Q:

Is it best to treat gout with hot or cold therapy?

A:

Quick Answer

Cold therapy is recommended for palliative relief of gout symptoms, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Recommended treatment involves resting the affected joint and applying an ice pack or cold compress to alleviate pain.

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Full Answer

Gout symptoms are caused by a buildup of uric acid in joints, explains WebMD. Treatment of these flare-ups involves reducing intake of the foods that produce uric acid and using medications that speed up the body's elimination of uric acid. Cold therapy does not accomplish either of these goals but is used to alleviate the pain associated with a flare-up. Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, are often used for symptom relief.

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