I love a good debate. Anyway here is my two pence on this.
I have only ever had 3 attacks since August 2015 so cannot really give much independent experience. On the other hand I have dealt with the gout attacks in 3 different ways. One with no NSAID’s or Colchicine (I never knew about them during my first attack and just went to A+E) and the other 2 with Naproxen alone.
The second attack a year in August 2016 I used a strong course of Naproxen only as I was too worried about the side effects of Colchicine and what impact they may have on my condition. Regardless, the Naproxen helped significantly pain wise.
The third attack this March which has left me with constant residual pain due to commencing Allopurinol was also treated with Naproxen alone for fear of Colchicine however this time the Naproxen did next to nothing in helping me feel better. It may have been making things easier then what things may have been without but I certainly didn’t feel much relief whilst taking it. Maybe because I only took it for 10 days and not through the entire attack duration.
How this relates to mobility is as follows;
The first attack I stayed in bed most of the time with no meds. The recovery time was approximately 12-14 days.
The second attack I took Naproxen thus I had pain relief and was able to walk around the house however the attack lasted 14-18 days. I tried to keep mobile where possible but did not exert force.
The third attack I took Naproxen and despite hardly any pain relief I kept pushing myself to walk around as best I can and although the ‘attack’ has passed residual pain still remains. That attack lasted over 18 days. Pain relief was next to minimal but I wanted to stay mobile.
So from my experience, resting is probably the better/faster option. Now had I not pushed myself when taking the Naproxen during the second attack maybe those 14-18 days would have been reduced by a further 3 or 4 days which would mean pain relief and a reduced length of attack.
Which ultimately begs 2 questions;
1. Can pushing yourself despite pain to get mobile asap actually cause irreversible damage as I am still dealing with residual pain today? Osteoarthritis as a result of a gout attack because of persistence to walk or was it just coincidence?
2. Even if one uses a combined aggressive pain relief course like mixing Colchicine with NSAID’s and Paracetamol to dampen pain who’s to say your joints are not taking a massive beating whilst you enjoy these mobile pain free periods? At the end of the day stopping inflammation is not your only issue when crystals break into synovial fluid or get stuck in soft bone.