Does Taking Heat or Cold Compress Work in Gout Relief?

Updated on March 17th, 2020
heat or cold for gout

People who suffer from the immense pain of gout find it very difficult to get any remission that cures them permanently. You have to depend on medicines and other instructions, given by the orthopedics. But, there are specific simple remedies that can lower the excruciating pain, and you can find relief. Besides medicines Heat or cold for gout can be an excellent remedy to relieve your pain of gout.

If you are suffering from gout, you may have swelling feet and joints and inflammation in that area. Heat or cold compression can soothe your tissues and give you temporary relief. But, before applying any compression, it is advisable that you should consult your doctor first.

Heat or Cold for Gout

Did You Know?

  • Compression, whether hot or cold, can reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling due to arthritis, especially gout.
  • Gout attacks often appear in the middle of the night, without any warning, so keep a compression ready

Easy Ways to Apply Heat Treatment in Gout

gout Pain

Besides medicines, there are specific other treatments that you can try to get relief from the pain of gout( 1). Hot compression is perfect for any arthritis pain. As gout is also a type of arthritis, you can try hot compression for this. But, you should always consult your doctor about this.

Now, why hot compression is useful for treating gout pain? Once you apply heat to the aching muscles and joints, it relaxes that area and reduces the inflammation and swelling. Besides, heat application can increase lubrication at those stiff muscles and joints to reduce pain. The main reason for gout is the crystallization of uric acid at your joints. When you do hot compress, it provides comfort to these areas, and you feel relieved. There are different ways to apply heat treatment. Have a look-

  • Use a hot water bottle. These are soft plastic bottles or rubber bottles that you can use to fill with warm water and compress the affected area.
  • Heated wraps and gel packs are readily available at medical stores. Keep it inside microwave before use, and it will serve you for 30 minutes.
  • Electric heating pads are also a good option for compression. You need to be careful about controlling the unit.
  • Heat patches are an excellent idea as you can wear that inside your clothes while working and the low-heat will keep you active. These are disposable.
  • Steam sauna or a hot bath in tub is quite an excellent option to reduce the pain of gout and arthritis. A hot bath relaxes your muscles and loosens up your joints.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies For Gout]

Different Cold Packs for Gout Pain

cold therapy on hand

Not only hot compression but in some cases cold packs also give you relief from the pain of gout. Applying cold packs will reduce swelling, inflammation(2), and the excruciating pain of arthritis and gout. There are different ways to use cold packs. Read on to know more-

[Read: Vitamins for Gout]

1. Reusable Cold Pack

These are certain types of cold packs that contain a gel inside it. You need to keep it inside the freezer and use it directly from the freezer. After use, keep it inside again the freezer for re-use. This type of cold pack is available in drug stores.

2. Instant Ice Packs

You can crack such packs by hand, and the pack becomes cold within a few seconds after that. If you use this pack at room temperature, that can remain cold for a long time.

3. Homemade Cold Packs

You can also make certain types of cold packs at home to get relief from your pain of gout. How? Know here-

  • Take a plastic bag and fill it with ice. Seal well and wrap with a towel. Now, you can apply it to your affected joints.
  • Fold a towel and place it in a plastic bag. Now, keep it in the freezer. While using it, take it out from the bag and apply on your painful joints.
  • You can use a rice pack. Fill a sock with rice and keep it inside the freezer. Apply it on your joints for longer as rice won’t melt like ice. You can also use the frozen bags of vegetables, like peas on your joints for a cold compress.

[Read: Essential Oils for Gout]

When Can You Use Cold Compress in Gout?

While applying a cold compress, you have to follow certain guidelines; else the cold can damage your skin. You should not apply ice directly on the skin and take some precautions.

  • Cold therapy can be painful for your skin. So, always wrap the cold plastic bag or ice in a towel and compress the affected area.
  • Don’t continue the cold therapy for more than 20 minutes.
  • If you have symptoms of cold allergy, Raynaud’s syndrome or nerve damage, avoid cold compress.

Is Taking Sauna Bath Good for Gout Patients?

As per research, the infrared sauna is said to be useful for relieving gout pain. Lots of studies have been done, and it is seen that in nine out of ten cases, infrared sauna gives a positive result. Not only in relieving the pain, but such a sauna bath also have a positive effect on uric acid deposition in your body. You should not forget to take a bath after the infrared sauna as that will wash out the toxins from your body.

[Read: Heat or Ice for Back Pain]


1. What Is the Fastest Way to Cure Gout?

You have to consult a specialist and rely on anti-inflammatory medications.

2. Is Ice Good for Gout?

Yes, ice is good only if your doctor recommends so. Also, you should not apply it directly on the skin.

3. Is Heat Good for Gout?

An infrared sauna is good for gout and also for reducing uric acid in your body.

With the heat of cold for gout, you can get temporary relief, but to cure this pain, you have to consult a specialist immediately. Besides, you should also ask about types of compression you can apply before trying anything.

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