Asked 21st Sep, 2012

Acute gout attack

Is it better to treat an acute gout attack with a hot or cold pack?

Most recent answer

27th Mar, 2020
Stephen Temple
University of Texas at San Antonio
Cold caused my gout to worsen. My Podiatrist said uric acid crystallized when you blood temp falls below 94 degrees. Puttin my foot in an ice bath caused this temperature drop. Now I use a wet washcloth heated in the microwave for just 24 seconds and keep it on only until the heat in the washcloth dissipates (about 3 minutes). I get some relief but not total relief.
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All Answers (5)

24th Sep, 2012
Veronica Lee
Locum Tenens NP / Contractor
Basically, HOT therapy is applied when there is no inflammation while COLD is for where there is inflammation/swelling involved.
Contrast Hydrotherapy (CH) has been used for treating and preventing Gout besides daily Hydration -- i.e. alternating HOT therapy (for 2-3 min) and COLD therapy (for 30-45 sec) immediately after one another for no more than 20 min totally within one CH therapy, with at least one hour apart from each time of CH treatment. CH primarily helps manage Gout Pain.
* People using CH are strongly advised to end each treatment with Cold Therapy, NEVER Hot.
* HOT therapy (at 90-90 degrees F) can be application of hot compress/towel or hot pack, or, if applicable, immersing the involved area e.g. toe(s)/finger(s) into warm (not hot) water
* COLD therapy can be cold compress/towel or cold packs, or, if applicable, immersing the involved area into cold water. COLD therapy is believed to help alleviate gout pain/symptoms but may worsen the root cause of gout in a long run based on scientific belief that crystallization happens faster, and larger crystals (stones) are formed at lower temperature.
* Above all, bear in mind with the bottom-line fact re: Gout -- Gout is caused by abnormal levels of blood pH and uric acid, which are largely associated with our daily diet and lifestyle. LIFESTYLE MODIFICATION is the best gout treatment/prevention: HYDRATE often (12 8-oz glasses of water, if not contraindicated), DRINK selectively, EAT wisely, REDUCE STRESS, and QUIT SMOKING are the keys to maintain gout health -- before, during, and after gout attack(s).
25th Sep, 2012
Abdallah El-Sayed Allam
Tanta University
Waiting for more openions
31st Oct, 2012
Abdallah El-Sayed Allam
Tanta University
Exposure to cold==> gouty attack but using cold backs for acute gouty attack not prolong attack or not==>gouty attack
12th Nov, 2014
Jennifer Liddle
Newcastle University
An ice pack on the affected joint can reduce swelling, heat and pain. Ice packs can be used in addition to any of the medications for gout. It is best to protect the skin from direct contact with the ice though. Many people we spoke to in our study found ice packs helpful in relieving symptoms during an attack.

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