Skip to main content
Home » Managing Illnesses » 5 Tips for Dealing with Flares

Arthritis flares can be incredibly debilitating. Learn how to manage the pain and disability of a flare from Arthritis Research Canada.

Imagine feeling good one day and waking up in debilitating pain the next. People with inflammatory arthritis know this experience well: the onset of a flare. 

It’s a period of increased disease activity where heat, pain, stiffness, and fatigue intensify. A flare can last days or even weeks and can disrupt a person’s life. 

At Arthritis Research Canada, we conduct research that gives people the tools and treatments to live life to the fullest despite arthritis. Check out these five tips for managing a flare from someone who has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for years: 

1) Don’t panic

Stress will make the flare worse. Sit down and don’t think about anything for five minutes — like a mini meditation session. Have a coping plan in place ahead of time in case you can’t see your physician.  

2) Get organized

Plan and leave room for unpredictability. Rank your tasks. Try not to do everything at once. And don’t be afraid to cancel plans when a flare strikes. 

3) Occupy yourself

Distraction is your friend. Get into a movie, read a book, or occupy yourself with something that engages your mind but is easy on the body. Try not to focus on the flare or the pain itself. Flares can be mentally draining, especially when you fixate on the pain. 

4) Indulge in a home spa treatment

Pretend that you’re at the spa. Take a hot bath. If you have a paraffin dip at home, it can relieve joint pain and stiffness in your hands, feet, and elbows. 

5) Arthritis Research Can Help 

Arthritis patients face many challenges that impact their daily lives and threaten their overall quality of life — like flares. At Arthritis Research Canada, we may not be able to cure arthritis, but we can reduce pain, and prevent joint deformities and the disability that comes with them.

Next article