First aid treatments for Gout
Gout is an inflammatory condition affecting joints, commonly in the feet (the big toe being the most common). Attacks of gout can be incredibly painful and debilitating.
Gout attacks occur when crystals of uric acid are deposited in the tissues of joints. This causes inflammation and severe pain which often comes on quickly (within hours).
The most commonly affected site for gout is the big toe (this is known as podagra). However gout can also attack other joints.
First aid treatments for gout aim to reduce inflammation and pain from the joint. You should always seek advice from a healthcare professional for attacks of gout.
Gout first aid treatment: Painkillers!
Simple painkillers can help reduce the pain from gout. Most effective are anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen. You should always take care with any medication – read the label and seek medical advice.
Gout first aid treatment: Cold compresses & ice packs
Cold compresses and ice packs can help reduce the swelling and inflammation from gout. This will reduce the pain and can improve mobility. Cold treatment works by causing blood vessels to constrict.
Always be careful when using ice packs that they don’t cause ‘cold burns’. Follow the instructions carefully
Gout first aid treatment: Elevation
If the gout attack is on a limb (eg the big toe) then elevating the limb for a period of time can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
These three first aid methods can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with attacks of gout. Always seek the advice of a medical professional as they will be able to advise on preventative measures such as medication (for example, allopurinol).