Sometimes those bad days are severe enough to be termed an “arthritis flare.” This is an episode that is characterized by intense pain, stiffness and fatigue which can come on suddenly, and halts you in your tracks.
Below are 5 tips on how to manage an arthritis flare to minimize its impact.
1. Rest Your Body. Instead of fighting the arthritis flare, rest is necessary for a full and quicker recovery. One of the things that can cause a flare is overdoing activities, and your joints need a break from movement and weight-bearing.
2. Heating Pads or Cold Packs. The reason heat is soothing during a flare is that it penetrates muscles and tissues and stimulates blood circulation allowing for a diminishing of pain.
However, if swelling occurs during the flare, instead of heat you’ll want to apply cold packs, which decrease the inflammation.
3. Immobilize Affected Joints. As has been pointed out, during a flare your joints require rest from weight-bearing. Wearing a brace or some other type of support relieves the burden of bearing weight. In addition these supports provide warmth and compression which help relieve pain.
4. Follow Your Doctor’s Advice. Arthritis flares are inevitable, so have a conversation with your physician before you experience them, and learn what your doctor wants you to do. This might include increasing pain medication, having an oral Medrol pack on hand, or going in to the office for a steroid injection.
Having a plan in place that you and your doctor have developed will give you the confidence that you can manage the flare.
5. Ergonomic Help. During an arthritis flare even the simplest of tasks can be difficult. Keep an ergonomic pen on hand to provide you with the ability to write without discomfort.
The UGLee Pen was designed specifically to allow hands and fingers that are compromised to have a stress-free writing experience. You don’t have to try to grip this pen – it grips you!
Source: Carol Eustice/About.com Disease and Condition Guide