Gout pain can be extremely debilitating for sufferers, but there are a variety of methods they can use to control it. Pain medications and other drugs for treating gout are good temporary treatments for managing pain. Alternate treatments including icing and heating of the affected joint, and laser therapy can also be useful. Dietary changes, both adding certain foods and removing others, can be helpful not only for short-term pain relief but for overall reduction in gout attacks.
Medication is often necessary to deal with gout pain until the underlying cause can be addressed. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as NSAIDs may be effective in managing pain, though stronger, prescription strength drugs may be necessary for extreme pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as indomethacin and colchicine may also be prescribed. One drug which should be avoided is aspirin, as it can worsen the symptoms of gout.
Sufferers can also cope with gout pain in the short term by alternately applying heat and cold to the joint. Holding an ice pack over the joint for short periods can reduce swelling and ease pain. Between these treatments, application of heat is often helpful. Wrapping the joint to keep it warm, or applying a heat source like a heating pad, can be soothing.
Another alternative treatment for gout pain is laser therapy. Some studies have shown that low level laser treatment, or cold laser therapy, can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by gout which lead to pain. Patients given this treatment experienced rapid reduction of their pain after treatment.
Perhaps the most important treatment of gout and gout pain involves dietary changes. Many types of food contribute to the buildup of uric acid in the body, which in turn leads to the formation of crystals in the joint fluid which cause gout. Removing or reducing these foods in one's diet is critical for relieving gout pain and eventually stopping it completely. Red meat, fatty fish and shellfish, and eggs all contribute to gout. Sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol should also be avoided.
Adding certain foods to one's diet can also be helpful. Eating cherries or drinking cherry juice is known to be very effective for quickly reducing gout pain. Low-fat milk and yogurt can also help. Several foods have properties which may decrease uric acid levels in the body, including dark berries, coffee, and olive oil.