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12-month warranty

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AU Registered Medical Device
12-month warranty
Same day dispatch
Professionally endorsed

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Gout Relief Management Options

A person experiencing pain on the foot.

Treatments for gout relief vary from medications, home remedies, TENS therapy, and lifestyle changes. The best option for pain management depends on the severity of your condition and what works best for you. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints. It leads to swelling and redness, which causes severe pain. It is a chronic condition affecting many people but is more prevalent among men and older people.

Gout flares may happen once or twice a year or several times a month, and the pain can range from mild to severe. The signs that an attack is about to happen include swelling, heat, and tenderness of the fingers, toes, ankles, or knees. You cannot stop a gout flare from happening, but there are treatments to help control the symptoms. This post will explore several options for managing gout pain.

Taking Medications for Gout Relief

Analgesics or oral painkillers are cost-effective for gout relief. A common medication is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen. They help reduce inflammation that causes pain and shorten the length of the attack. Most anti-inflammatory medicines are suitable for mild to moderate gout, except aspirin. Taking aspirin can increase uric acid levels and worsen flare-ups.

Another medication for relieving gout pain is colchicine. It helps reduce inflammation by inhibiting the movement of white blood cells to the affected joints. It works best when taken within the first 12 to 24 hours of an attack. Although effective for gout, it should not be used for relieving other causes of pain. Alternatively, probenecid is a medication that enhances the kidney’s ability to remove excess uric acid from the body.

Corticosteroids are also effective in relieving gout pain. They are suitable for acute conditions or short-term relief when other medications are not suitable. For chronic gout, medical specialists may prescribe uric medications to control the increase of uric acid. Drugs like allopurinol and febuxostat block uric acid production, which is the primary cause of gout attacks.

Risks and Side Effects

The risks or side effects may depend on age, dosage, and length of treatment.

  • NSAIDs: common side effects include stomachache, diarrhoea, and nausea. In addition, peptic ulcers are rare but are known to happen.
  • Colchicine: potential side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Other reactions may include headache, muscle weakness, numbness, and blood in the urine or stool.
  • Corticosteroid: muscle weakness, high blood pressure, delayed wound healing, and stomach ulcers. It also has the risk of worsening diabetes, osteoporosis, glaucoma and cataracts.
  • Probenecid: irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, and skin rash. Less common effects are blood in the urine and painful urination.

Elderly man and woman riding a bicycle with two kids

Home Remedies to Achieve Gout Relief

While medications are available, you may also try several home remedies to relieve gout pain. Simple techniques can help ease the symptoms without the associated risks of medicines. A healthy diet and hydration are important. Drinking plenty of water helps lessen future attacks. It helps flushes out uric acid from the body. Avoid purine-rich food, such as red meat and seafood. Instead, focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Applying ice to the painful joint can help reduce inflammation. Cold can numb the pain and constrict blood vessels. An ice pack or cold object wrapped in a thin towel for 20 to 30 minutes can help reduce gout symptoms. Moreover, people can experience severe pain with minimum movement during a gout flare-up. Thus, resting or elevating the joint encourages blood to move away and releases pressure.

Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular exercise can help manage the symptoms of gout. Being overweight increases the risks of joint pain. Activities like walking, swimming, or cycling improve joint function and promote overall well-being. It is best to consult a health professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

More Self-care Methods

Aside from a balanced diet, limiting alcohol consumption and sugary drinks can help minimise the risk of flare-ups. Clear fluids like broths and teas, cherry juice, lemon water, and low-fat milk also help. Additionally, reduce stress factors that can aggravate the symptoms. Managing stress levels and getting enough sleep play a vital role in preventing future gout attacks.

Furthermore, use a cane when walking to take pressure off the joints. Lose excess weight and avoid high-impact activities that can strain the joints. Modifying lifestyle factors to control high uric acid levels is vital for people with a family history of gout.

A person wearing a TENS machine on the elbow.

Using TENS for a Natural Gout Relief

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) offers people with gout an innovative solution to reduce pain. It is a non-invasive, drug-free way to provide immediate gout relief. The TENS machine sends electrical impulses through electrodes placed on the painful area of the body. It generates a low-voltage electric current to block pain signals from reaching the brain.

TENS also stimulates the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. These hormones inhibit nerve cells from sending pain messages, resulting in overall alleviation of pain. Moreover, it boosts blood circulation, reducing inflammation in the joints and controlling severe gout pain. The device is adjustable to suit different pain levels.

TENS machine can be used for gouty arthritis and other types of chronic pain. It is a versatile treatment method that can complement home remedies and physical therapy. It is also a natural alternative to anti-inflammatory medications. Using the device frequently does not have long-term side effects. Lastly, it is a portable device ready to use whenever necessary.

How to Use TENS

At the initial attack of gout, position the TENS electrodes around the painful area. If the pain is on the big toe, place the pads above the arch or close to the toes and heel. However, avoid putting them directly over the joints. Then, turn on the device and set the frequency and duration.

Gradually increase the intensity until you feel strong but comfortable pulses. High intensity is ideal for severe or acute attacks. On the other hand, low intensity prompts endorphin release. You may use a TENS machine not exceeding one hour with a 20-minute break between sessions.

Conclusion

Gout is a debilitating condition that can make simple activities difficult. It is inflammatory arthritis that causes severe pain due to a buildup of uric acid in the joints. There is no cure for gout, but several methods can help manage the pain. The common methods for gout relief include OTC and prescription medications and natural remedies. Oral pain relievers can help reduce severe gout inflammation. Some drugs can also help bring down high levels of uric acid.

On the other hand, various home remedies can aid in the management of gout. If you prefer alternatives to medications, cold packs can help numb the pain. Additionally, lifestyle changes like drinking water, maintaining a low-purine diet and low-impact exercises can help prevent attacks of gout. Lastly, TENS therapy provides prompt treatment for chronic and acute gout. It is a natural pain relief method without the risks of adverse side effects or complications.

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