Gout, once a leading cause of crippling arthritis, has lost some of its sting as medical research has helped doctors find treatments for the disease. Most gout sufferers are advised to avoid aspirin or aspirin-containing compounds during severe attacks, making non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs the treatment of choice for gout pain. Recent clinical studies, reported in the Journal of Rheumatology, suggest that ice packs may also be effective in reducing gout pain. In a study involving patients who were being treated with colchicine and prednisone, half of them also had ice packs applied to the affected joint for 30 minutes four times a day. The research team concluded that those who underwent ice therapy had significantly less pain. The team plans further trials to determine if ice therapy is effective with drugs other than prednisone.
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