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Readers Respond: How Do You Tame an Arthritis Flare?

Responses: 22


Updated August 11, 2011

When an arthritis patient says "I'm in a flare", that's not good. It means their arthritis symptoms have worsened from their usual level. Typically, they are having more pain, stiffness, and possibly even more swelling due to increased inflammation.

The increase in symptoms can interfere with usual activities. It's important to bring the flare under control as quickly as possible. What works for you when you experience an arthritis flare? Do you have a routine that includes using a heating pad, bedrest, massage, or meditation? What has your doctor told you to do? What works for you?

Share What Works for You

Flare up PAIN!!

OsteoArthritis in my knees, neck and left shoulder. Oh the joys of chronic pain... Too sensitive for pain meds : / I have honey and cinnamon, on daily basis. Tiger Balm is a very close friend of mine. Ice packs & heating pads, at the end of each day. Ibuprofen when it gets bad. ...this current flare up is pretty awful- Slapped on the Tiger Balm, took ibuprofen and am in bed enjoying some hot tea with honey n cinnamon. :) Thank goodness it is Sunday! :)
—Guest Twoody

Dealing with Flare up

I haven't had a flare up for a while but the last 2 days I have really struggled. Everything hurts and I am exhausted despite sleeping well. I am permanently taking prednisilone and tramadol but when it gets like this I need to rest. Trying to battle through work is really tough.
—Guest NickD

Still learning

Just dx'd in Dec 2013 w RA after 3 months of pain, swelling, redness and dr's visits. Have done MUCH research on foods -cut out caffeine, eggs, dairy, tomatoes, potatoes, sugar, and others. Now make a ginger, turmeric, cinnamon tea for bkf. Into the first bottle of the apple cider vinegar. Supplemental Vit D, C, E , boron, and of course NSAIDS. Pain level usually a 4/10 from 8/10 last 3 months. Low grade pain and RA seem to always be in the back of my mind. Had a worse evening last PM than most days. (After a party where I ate deviled eggs, cookies, and chocolate ...hmmm.) That's what got me back on the computer again...trying to learn more! Going to rheum. dr. next month.
—Guest DB

Arthritis flare due to weather change

I just learned about arthritis flare. I've been diagnosed with osteoarthritis a long time ago due to severe back, hip and knee injury. It was uncomfortable but nothing like what hit me after the monsoon in Nevada. I literally sat stuck in a chair and couldn't get up and just cried with the pain. I couldn't put any weight on my right leg without almost screaming. No one seemed to care at the doctors until I finally caught the right one. She gave me prednisone 1000mg in 5 days and Gabapentin for nerve pain. I was totally unable to sleep or to get in or out of bed very well, I've lost the ability to control my urine or gas during this time, and I can't move very fast. I'm going to see her again and see if I can get on some maintenance meds, It seems the humidity and the cold are both going to bother me. This one has lasted almost 2 months but is letting up a little now. I found some things on here to try. I'm praying for strength to hang on.
—Guest Nevad lady

Retired teacher

I will have a flare every month or so, and it will last two days. I stay in bed and drink plenty of fluids, and take pain medication. These flares seem to occur after a particularly stressful day. I have learned to almost expect the flare to show up when I have overnight company and are responsible for a big meal. This is so embarrassing!
—Guest retired teacher

First flare up

In my last response, I said that I had a flare lasting 6 days and it's now gone on for 2 weeks. My dr has finally said that although I tested positive for what he thought was low grade rheumatoid arthritis, he is now referring me to the hospital to see a rheumatologist. I've been in agony for years with my ankles and wrists as well, so hopefully may get some answers or better pain relief.
—Guest lou52

First flare

I think I've just experienced my first flare, and it has lasted for 6 days in my knees. Haven't been able to climb stairs, get myself off the toilet or out of the bath, or even lift my leg off the floor to get to bed, I tried heat pads and meds and rest, but had more pain resting that walking. Does this sound like a flare to anyone?
—Guest lou52

Rheumatoid arthritis flares

Read up on the spice turmeric, taking capsules of 500mg twice a day really helped in bringing inflammation under control.
—Guest erika fogazzi


Prednisone + Tramadol works very well no gastro side effects with tramadol! This should be an over the counter drug!


Had a bad flare up today. I am under the FMLA blanket at work, but it sure doesn't mean anything about the snotty remarks and looks you get. I just wish they knew. I hurt so much and can fake it sometimes.
—Guest Sandra

Medication is helping

My Dr. just put me on tramadol ex 100, three days ago. I feel so much better. Up till then it was hot showers and a heating blanket.
—Guest Judy King


Yesterday I wanted to be dead. It's only way I will not feel any more pain .
—Guest Maric

Flare Ups

2 years since my last flare up. I go on short term prednisone and something for pain. Usually works! I feel each flare up has a close relationship to foods that I eat..so watch my diet carefully. Also I lift weights and walk as much as I can..I believe this is something that has kept these flare ups at bay for the last two years.
—Guest Grandma of nine

Arthritis flares

I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in hot water, you can add honey if you like. Take once a day very good for inflammation. Worth a try.
—Guest christine

No remedy in sight

I use diclofenac 50 mg 2 or 3 times a day. Nothing else has worked and I have different medicines, exercise and natural products. Now I just live with it and hope depression doesn't get too bad.
—Guest Richard in Nicaragua

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How Do You Tame an Arthritis Flare?

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