Is Gout Massage A Bad Treatment Of Gout?

One of the most popular gout topics is massage and gout.

It started with a forum member asking:

A couple times I have massaged the toe joint and it felt like perhaps I was able to break up the crystals a bit. Not sure if that can really happen or if I imagined it. So, my questions are: 1) can you really break down the crystals by manually massaging the joint? 2) if so, should you? Would that help break it down and assist in the process? Or, is it doing more harm than good?

Inevitably, as forum discussions tend to do, there is talk of supporting the gout massage with hot baths, which in turn leads to a discussion of what to put in the bathwater. But this misses the fundamental question: is massage good gout relief, or will massaging gout cause more problems?
Click to discover the dangers of misunderstanding gout and massage

Gout Relief Without Medicine

Gout Relief is a list of alternative treatments to relieve gout pain. Specifically, these are gout treatments outside the usual choices of drugs, herbs, or diet.

Gout Relief Audience

I wrote Gout Relief mainly for GoutPal Seekers. However, it predates my reorganization by type of gout sufferer. So, most items will interest other types of gout sufferer. Therefore, you can continue to read Gout Relief. Or, you can find your gout sufferer type in Questions for Gout Sufferers.

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Gout And Acupuncture: The Sharp way to Beat Gout

In Gout And Acupuncture I show how acupuncture is used to treat gout. Specifically, I look at acupuncture to treat gout pain. Also, to treat excess uric acid.

Gout And Acupuncture Audience

I wrote Gout And Acupuncture for GoutPal Seekers. So, to find which type of gout sufferer you are, read Questions for Gout Sufferers first.

In particular, Gout And Acupuncture helps GoutPal Seekers at Step 3. That is, it helps you learn more ways to treat gout pain and uric acid.

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Massage for Treating Gout

Gout Massage Overview

Gout massage involves carefully rubbing the surface of the skin around the gouty joint.

This is a way to relieve gout that does not involve any form of gout medication. It’s purpose is to encourage blood flow around the affected area. If this is done when uric acid levels in the blood are low, then it can encourage crystals to dissolve back into the bloodstream. Or, at least, that is the theory.

Gout Massage Studies

Unfortunately, I have not found any clinical studies that specifically investigate gout massage. There are some that reference inflammation, but not gout-related inflammation. I have referred to these in the gout massage guidelines, but I have not studied them in detail, and therefore I have not provided any summaries. If you want me to summarize the inflammation-related massage studies, please ask me in the gout forum.

Gout Massage Sources

I am unaware of any qualified massage therapists who provide gout massage services.

Gout Massage Articles

Gout massage articles form part of the gout relief pages within the Gout Treatment guidelines. You can read background information through those links, or see key information in the massage for gout guidelines.

Gout massage has been discussed in the gout forums, and you can find those discussions by typing your question about massage for gout into the search box above or below.

Gout Massage Questions

If you have questions about gout massage, please ask in the gout support forum, where you can also share any information you have. There are two unanswered questions about gout massage:

  • Gout Massage Studies: do you know of any specific gout massage studies, or do you want me to summarize the inflammation massage studies?
  • Gout Massage Sources: do you know of a qualified massage therapist who can provide gout massage services?

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Massage for Gout Relief

Massage for gout relief is attractive, but complicated.

Massage is attractive as a gout relief method that avoids medication. Many gout sufferers seek relief from gout pain, but don’t want to rely on medicines.

Massage is more complex than simply rubbing the affected area. In this article, I will explain different types of massage, and which is safe for gout.

After reading Massage for Gout Relief, you will understand which types of massage are safe for gout, which types of massage to avoid, and where to get more help about gout relief that does not use medicine.

Massage for Gout Relief Introduction

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.

Massage for Gout Relief Safety

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 the joint. Inflammation is caused by uric acid deposits.

Massage should be done by an experienced massage therapist to prevent deep massage of the joint in gout patient. Alternatively, individuals who may understand the anatomy of surrounding soft tissue could try superficial massage therapy after a few sessions with an experienced massage therapist.
Pramod Kerkar MD

Types Of Massage for Gout Relief

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.

More Help with Massage for Gout Relief

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

If you want more information about gout relief that does not involve medicine, please see my Gout Relief Guidelines, linked at the end of this massage guideline. But what if you want more help with massage for gout relief?

I recommend talking to your doctor about gout massage therapy, or any other aspect of gout treatment that you are not happy about. But maybe you are unsure what to ask, or you’ve tried it, but didn’t understand the answers. That’s why I supply personal help with all my gout guidelines. Gout treatment is a personal matter, and I want you to be clear about massage for Your gout relief. To make it as easy as I can for you, I offer gout help in three different forms. You can use any of these services for help, or just to share your experiences and opinions about massage for gout relief:

The easiest way to get more help is to start your own Gout Massage discussion. I also recommend you follow the latest forum discussions by getting email notification:

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Subscription is free and your email address is safe – I will never share it with anyone else. See more about GoutPal Update Services.

If you prefer to read more gout facts, please browse my Gout Treatment guideline, or look for more non-medical gout treatments in my Gout Relief Guidelines.

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TENS Pain Relief Machines

Treating Gout with TENS Pain Relief Machines

TENS pain relief

A big advantage of TENS pain relief machines for gout sufferers is that they do not interfere with the body chemistry in any significant way.

This is very important if you are trying to balance uric acid and/or pH levels.

What are TENS Pain Relief Machines?

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, meaning that a small electrical charge stimulates the nervous system through the skin.

The unit is a small portable device that attaches to a belt.
It delivers the electrical charge through one or more thin wires connected to pads that adhere to the outside of the skin.

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