A George Washington coach wears stiletto heels in the huddle with players during their first round NCAA women's basketball game against Boise State in Los Angeles, March 17, 2007 Reuters/ Lucy Nicholson

Gout is a form of arthritis caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood. When uric acid crystallizes, these tend to accumulate in the joints, tendons and nearby tissues, causing pain and discomfort. You may consider massaging your sore joints to ease the pain but always practice safety precautions to avoid alleviating the problem.

Massaging gouty joints can help you deal with pain better if done the right way.

Dr. Pramod Kerkar stated in that massage therapy is effective in managing gout to promote blood circulation to the affected area. When blood supply is increased to the affected joints, swelling and inflammation are significantly reduced. For severe symptoms of gout, massaging the area will greatly help especially after taking anti-inflammatory medications. The approach will involve rubbing the superficial and deep tissues to provide more blood supply to the area.

How to Massage Gouty Areas

1. Only deal with experienced massage therapists

In the beginning, you should only invest in an experienced massage therapist who understands the anatomy of the affected joints and surrounding tissues. The expert can teach you how to rub the points properly to avoid possible damage to the tissues.

2. Know the two massage techniques

Superficial massaging of gouty areas will result to pain relief and comfort. Deep tissue massage should be avoided because it can actually worsen tissue inflammation. Go to sessions regularly and have a physician fully inspect the area to determine how massage should properly be performed to avoid further injury.

3. Apply cold

Cold packs and cold compresses on the joint will also help reduce pain and inflammation. WebMD recommends that you ice your gouty joints for 20 to 30 minutes several times daily until the condition improves. The approach can be done in between massage sessions.

4. Rest and proper nutrition

Resting the joint will also provide pain relief. Moving the joint will generally hurt, so spend some time placing your hurt knees or feet on a pillow or other soft things. Also drink large quantities of water to stabilize uric acid levels in our blood. Avoid food and drinks that are high in purines that spike your uric acid levels such as organ meats and beer.

You can have a family member perform the massage techniques to alleviate gout pain, provided that he fully understands the anatomy and have an expert supervise the first few sessions.

To contact the writer of this story, send an email to