When there are abnormally high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream, the excessive uric acid can crystallize in the joints and cause the pain of gout. This is the situation when the heating pad treatment for gout symptoms can play a vital role.
The Gout Symptoms
To be able to manage the pain and gout symptoms, the gout attack needs to be properly understood. Marked by a sharp pain, an acute gout attack can be excruciatingly painful with associated tenderness and swelling of the affected joint. The majority of cases of gout occur in the big toe but other joints such as the knee, ankle, wrist, and fingers may also be affected. The symptoms may last from three to as long as ten days. The acute gout symptoms may occur more often and lead to chronic gout pains.
The Role of Heating Pad Treatment
Heat has been known to soothe pain and reduce stiffness for many years. It had been applied to injuries and other forms of joint problems. As far as gout is concerned, increasing the heat in the surrounding area of the affected joint can help dilate the blood vessels. This improves blood circulation to accelerate relief from pain. Although not scientifically proven, heat is also thought to help promote the uric acid crystals to be more soluble, thereby dissolving the gout crystals from the tissues. This allows their faster elimination.
To feel the effect of heating pad treatment, it requires at least 15 minutes of application. It is recommended to apply twice a day for prolonged pain. The objective is to provide warmth to the deep tissues to dilate the blood vessels as well as relax the muscles.
Heat Therapy and Cold Therapy Combined for Optimum Effect
For the heating pad treatment to be more effective, the affected joint needs to be treated with the combination of heat therapy and cold therapy. This requires the treatment with heating pads for six times.
By incorporating the cold therapy, the heating effect is optimized. The cold reduces the nerve conduction time as well as the perception of pain. The alternate hot and cold therapy increases blood circulation much better than the heat therapy alone.
When the affected joint is heated, this brings more blood to the area. When it is cooled, it squeezes out blood out of the area. By alternating cold and heat therapy, it significantly increases blood flow to get rid of the pain-causing chemicals.
Heat Therapy and Chronic Gout
The heating pad treatment for gout is best with the chronic type. The chronic gout attacks are characterized by less sharper pains than those of acute attacks. Although it may not dramatically relieve the pain with the more painful acute gout attacks, heat therapy may work well in conjunction with other forms of treatments such as medications during these attacks.
Heating pad treatment for gout symptoms is a proven way to handle pain and swelling, especially with chronic gout attacks. It is recommended that you apply it six times within the day and alternately with cold therapy for optimum effect.