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Flare ups: will movement set me back?

I had a severe flare up ten days ago, which has now gone down to mild swelling in multiple joints, but can't take steroids because it makes me go a bit crazy. It's been going for about ten days and not really getting better. If I stop working (using my hands a lot to type, which is sore) will that actually help the flare stop, or will it make no difference? And are there other things that would help, short of taking steroids? (such as massage, heat and cold, alternative therapies etc). I'm off all medication at the moment because I'm waiting approval of Biologics, which should come through in about four weeks.

  1. , first off, I am sorry you are dealing with a nasty flare right now. Second, I hope that approval for biologics maybe comes through a little quicker!


    Have you talked to your doctor about the pain you are experiencing? He/she may be able to prescribe something to help with the pain, at least temporarily (most likely steroids). I can't offer you medical advice, for your safety and frankly, what works for one person may not work as well for another. Some people find that keeping moving keeps the joints a bit supple and lessens the stiffening. Others find that giving the joints a short rest helps. Some of our community members find heat soothing, while others prefer cold. It really can be a bit of trial and error, which is no fun when you're already hurting!


    I wanted to share some community member tips with you that may give you some ideas to try -- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/flare-management-tips and -- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/10-ways-to-get-comfortable-during-a-flare-tips-from-the-ra-community. There are quite a few suggestions between the two articles and I hope you find something that works for you!


    Most of them are relatively cheap and easy to do at home, which is also helpful.


    Good luck and please keep us posted on how you are doing, if you feel comfortable doing so.


    Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.


    1. I agree with my friend Erin. I am also very sorry you are having a rough time. However, the best person to speak with is your rheumatologist. I will be surprised if they would not respond with steroids or some form of bridge medication. I would suggest these are not usually mutually exclusive and unless you are a bit different than any of us it will take some ramp-up time to make a difference.


      Obviously, the doctor is the best judge of how to proceed. Since I am not a doctor we cannot really say. But in my experience, my doctor has usually preferred to handle things like this as immediate concerns. ... rick


      1. i regularly use a chinese electric shock machine.. it is like a long pencil with a battery which gives of a little shock which is adjustable to strength, i find once i get a joint starting to hurt and swell i use that 2 or 3 times a day with a red light heat machine and in two or 3 days, it is all better, i have no swollen joints no sore joints and this makes me happy... a bit of work but the electric shock works for me real well

        1. Thanks for this suggestion - a quick look on amazon doesn't show up an electric shock machine but from your description would this be sold as an acupuncture pen?

      2. RA is such a personal and unpredictable illness it's hard to say. I know that's not the answer you wanted but I do know that lessening stress definitely helps me. Stress is a huge flare trigger for me so if it's the same for you, that may be a factor. I also use arthritis compression gloves for typing and other hand activities. Keep on keepin' on, DPM

        1. compression gloves sound like a useful suggestion - typing is really hard right now. Thanks!

        2. I really like wearing compression gloves. Just make sure they are large enough to not fit too tightly. rick... (the guy who bought x when he needed xl)

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