Massage for Gout Relief

Massage for gout relief is attractive, but complicated. It is attractive as a gout relief method that avoids medication, but massage is more complex than simply rubbing the affected area.

Massaging sore joints seems to provide relief for many gout sufferers. Against this, most qualified massage professionals advise against massaging areas affected by inflammation. So is gout massage a good idea?

For the answer, I sought advice from a doctor: Pramod Kerkar MD from Epainassist.com. In Massage Therapy for Gout Dr Kerkar stated:

Massage therapy is very helpful in the management of gout by promoting blood circulation to the affected area and thereby reducing inflammation and swelling.

I expressed my safety concerns to him, and asked if massage does help gout. His detailed response made me realize that massage is good for gout if it is applied in the right way.

Massage therapy involves rubbing of the superficial and deep tissue. Gout symptoms are presented as severe symptoms during active inflammation of the joint or mild to moderate symptoms when inflammation is subsided following taking medication. Massage therapy suggested is superficial massage therapy mostly applied to the soft tissue around the inflammatory joint so blood circulations are improved. The reason behind the massage therapy and improvement of the circulation is to promote the absorption of uric acid deposits around he joint. Inflammation is caused by uric acid deposit. Massage should be done by a experience massage therapist to prevent deep massage of the joint in gout patient. Alternatively individual who may understand the anatomy of surrounding soft tissue could try superficial massage therapy after few sessions with experience massage therapist.
Pramod Kerkar MD

The distinction between the two types of massage is important:

Superficial massage of areas affected by gout should relieve symptoms. Deep tissue massage of areas affected by gout should be avoided.

Detailed investigation of massage techniques is beyond the scope of GoutPal. However I have had a brief look at studies of massage and they appear to confirm benefits of massage for inflamed tissues.

Massage for Gout Relief

Generally speaking, it looks like massage for gout relief is a good thing. However, you need to be careful. I concur with Dr Kerkar, and I recommend a few sessions with an experienced massage therapist before you start applying gout massage yourself.

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