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4 Effective Gout Treatments for Less Pain

4 Effective Gout Treatments for Less Pain

More than nine million people (or nearly 4% of the adult population) in the United States understand what it is like to experience a gout attack. A gout flare can be an incredibly painful event that hijacks your life for a couple of weeks, making relief your main priority.

The good news is that there are ways that you can better weather a gout flare-up. In this month’s blog post, our team of foot health experts at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle reviews four options for pain relief when you have gout.

Behind the pain

Before we get into your pain relief options, let’s quickly learn why gout is so painful. This type of arthritis is caused by a buildup of uric acid in your body. When the excess acid gets into your joint, usually one in your big toe, it can form sharp crystals that lead to painful inflammation.

Now that we know what we’re up against, let’s take a look at how you can find much-needed relief.

1. Pain medications

Of course, a frontline treatment for a painful gout flare-up includes medications that address both the pain and inflammation, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications. If your pain is severe and NSAIDs aren’t providing relief, we can discuss prescription pain relievers or corticosteroid injections or pills.

2. Reducing the excess uric acid

There are also medications that we can prescribe to treat the uric acid in your body. There are several medications that accomplish this — some work by decreasing your body’s production of digestive acid, while others encourage filtering of the acid through your kidneys.

3. Apply ice and elevate

While you wait for medications to do their work, you can also reduce pain by applying ice to the inflamed joint and keeping it elevated as much as possible. You can apply ice for about 10-15 minutes every hour or so when the pain is at its strongest.

Please don’t forget to place something between your skin and the ice pack so you avoid freezer burn.

4. Take the pressure off of your toe

While this may seem obvious, you need to relieve the pressure on your inflamed joint, which means not moving it. That can be tricky since gout usually attacks your feet, but we urge you not to use the affected foot during an attack. 

If you must, use an assistive device, such as a cane, to keep some of the pressure off of your toe.

You will also find that the pressure of a shoe, or even a sock, might be too much. When you have a gout attack, stick to soft slippers or roomy socks during this time.

Between the treatments we provide here and the steps you take at home, you can get to the other side of a gout attack with the least pain possible.

If you have more questions about managing gout pain, contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, Hendersonville, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to schedule a consultation.

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