How to Quickly Relieve Gout Pain

Gout pain is one of the most severe forms of joint pain that exists. With severe gout, even touching the affected joint may be unbearable.

Fortunately, there are treatment options available to reduce pain from gout. Many of the most successful treatments work to rapidly reduce gout pain by reducing inflammation around the joint.

This article teaches about ways to get rid of gout pain quickly and get back to your regular life.  

A person with hands on a foot

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Ways to Reduce Gout Pain Quickly

The best way to treat an acute gout flare-up is with medications that reduce inflammation.

A number of different medications—including over-the-counter (OTC) options—are available to quickly help reduce gout inflammation and pain. The most commonly used medications for rapid treatment of gout pain are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), which are readily available at many pharmacies and grocery stores.

Taking OTC medications such as NSAIDs early in the course of a gout attack has been shown to be helpful for reducing gout pain. 

Over-the-Counter Drugs

Several commonly used drugs are available for the treatment of an acute gout flare, including:

These medications have been well-studied and are shown to help reduce gout pain during acute flares. Talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about how much to take.

What Can You Take for Severe Gout Pain?

Severe gout pain is often debilitating and may require evaluation by a medical professional.

If left untreated, severe gout inflammation can permanently damage and scar the affected joint. If you are experiencing severe gout pain and need prompt treatment, your healthcare provider may prescribe medications that are shown to rapidly treat a gout flare, such as:

Treatments to Reduce Gout Flares

One thing to note is that the medications used to treat acute gout flares differ from those used to prevent gout flares.

Preventive medications work by reducing the amount of uric acid in the body and help avert gout from recurring in the future. Importantly, these medications are ineffective at reducing gout pain during an active flare.

While you may continue taking these medications during a flare, review the other options available for rapid pain relief. The most commonly used medications for reducing gout flares include:

Nondrug Gout Relief

You may consider alternative therapies and supplements if you suffer from severe gout flares.

More than 40% of gout patients have expressed interest in nondrug treatments for gout. There are some natural supplements on the market aimed at treating gout, however, be sure to exercise caution as many of them have not been proven to work for acute gout flares.

Some alternatives to medications are available, including supplements and creams.

Supplements

Supplements for gout treatment include:

  • Cherry extract: Recently, cherry extract has gained popularity as a potential supplement for gout. The mechanism for how cherry extract can help with gout flares is not well-understood. In some surveys, people with gout who were taking cherry extract reported fewer gout flares and a reduced need for urate-lowering medications.
  • Bromelain extract: This supplement comes from pineapples and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation associated with gout.
  • Ginger: Ginger is widely connected to different anti-inflammatory processes. Many patients with gout state that ginger and ginger-based sodas (ginger ale) can help reduce the pain of a gout flare. While ginger is safe for consumption, it has limited data supporting efficacy in treating acute gout flares. 
  • Guava leaf extract: In laboratory studies, certain substances found in guava leaves are able to reduce uric acid levels. The extract from guava leaves may help reduce the uric acid in the body.

Topical Creams

Topical creams may provide some much-needed relief to an acute gout flare. But keep in mind these creams are not a comprehensive treatment for acute gout flares.

Home Remedies

One of the most commonly tried methods for gout relief is to soak the affected joint in warm water by taking a bath. Applying an ice pack may also be effective at providing relief.

Gout Triggers: What Makes Gout Pain Worse

Gout pain is often linked to movement. If you are experiencing severe gout pain, you may want to try to rest the affected joint as much as possible. If you are experiencing a gout flare, you may want to avoid any contact sports or serious physical activity until your symptoms improve.

Diet also plays a major role in triggering gout flares and contributes to the pain that gout causes. Foods that are rich in chemical substances called purines are often linked to gout flares. The most common foods that are linked to gout flares are:

  • Red meat, including beef, lamb, and pork
  • Seafood, including foods such as tuna, shrimp, and crab 
  • Alcohol, such as beer, wine, or liquor 

Working to reduce the amount of these foods can help relieve acute gout symptoms and also help reduce the risk of future gout flares.

Summary

Gout is common, and the pain it causes can be so severe that it knocks you off your feet.

If you are experiencing an acute gout flare, there are many medications readily available to help alleviate the pain. In addition, some supplements are available that may be able to help relieve some gout pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you get rid of gout overnight?

    Gout pain can be extremely severe and feel debilitating. Rapid treatment with medications such as NSAIDs, such as Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen), can help reduce gout pain even as quickly as overnight.

    Alternatively, medications your healthcare provider has prescribed can work very rapidly to reduce gout pain.

  • Do baths help during gout flares?

    Baths and soaking affected joints may help reduce pain and improve the stiffness associated with gout. Warming the skin and surrounding joints with warm water may help improve blood flow to the inflammation site and mobility. 

  • Does walking help with gout pain?

    Walking may be very painful during a gout flare when it affects the feet, toes, or legs. If you can continue to walk as tolerated during a flare, it will help keep you mobile and active. However, walking is not going to successfully treat a gout flare. As a result, do not expect to walk it off or for the pain to simply go away. 

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Kevin James Cyr
Kevin is a physician-in-training at Stanford University School of Medicine with a focus in cardiovascular disease and bioengineering. His publications have earned international awards, and his work has been featured in major media outlets such as NBC News.