StumpyThumb Member Posts: 2
edited 25. Nov 2019, 09:20 in Chat to our Helpline Team
Hi, I’m new here and wanted to ask what exactly is a flare?
I have been on sulfazalazine for nearly 8 months now. Was all going good, things settled then about a month ago I got swelling and pain in fingers I hadn’t previously and it’s constant. For the last few weeks, the last week in particular I have been ridiculously tired, coming home from work, having a nap, wanting to go to bed by 9pm. I also have bursitis in hip.
Not sure exactly what answers looking for, just not sure what to do. Thank you in anticipation.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi StumpyThumb and welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear you have been experiencing a worsening of your condition. A member of the Helpline Team will be along to respond to your post in more detail soon. But in the meantime, just to give a quick definition of a flare: it's an acute (and temporary) episode of pain and inflammation, a worsening of your usual symptoms. Some people find that stress triggers a flare, but there isn't always an obvious cause. This can make them hard to accept and cope with, as sometimes they occur when things seem to be going well with symptoms generally under control. Are the symptoms you're getting a worsening of your usual symptoms or completely new? It will probably be useful for the Helpline Team if you feel able to give details of what type of arthritis you have been diagnosed with.

    with best wishes,

  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi StumpyThumb,

    Thank you for posting on our Helpline Forum. I am sorry to hear you have been experiencing increased swelling and pain in your fingers during the last month, and increased fatigue. It does sound as if this could be due to a flare-up of your arthritis. Ann has given a very helpful definition of a flare in her response.

    It may be good to go back to your GP and/or contact your rheumatology team for advice. I am not sure from your post what type of arthritis you have. Just to clarify, we are not medically trained on the Helpline.

    If you feel it would help to talk things through informally and in confidence, you are very welcome to give us a call on our free helpline: 0800 520 0520 (weekdays 9am-8pm).

    In the meantime, you may find the following links from our website helpful.

    For information about managing your symptoms, including pain and fatigue, diet and exercise, see: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/

    For our section on hand and wrist pain, see: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/hand-and-wrist-pain/

    For information about working with arthritis, follow this link: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/living-with-arthritis/work/

    I hope this is of some help.

    Best wishes,

    Helpline Advisor
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I just typed a long reply and it vanished. :roll: Here is the short version.

    I am a forum member who has psoriatic and osteoarthritis. My psoriatic flares occasinally despite the meds (I inject humira and methotrexate) and the flare affects my whole body. I become extra tired for weeks and months and no matter how much I rest nothing improves.

    My osteo 'flares' are localised to the affected joints and easily dealt with by rest and the occasional application of voltarol. I am the culprit of those, causing them by overdoing things or by eating too many pickled onions :lol: The weather worsens the OA too but that is not a flare. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 3,416
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi dreamdaisy, thank you for your message and description about how your flare-ups feel, depending on which diagnosis is flaring.

    Fatigue can be a hard symptom to manage but pacing your activities and doing small tasks with periods of rest in between can help to manage while the flare-up is happening.

    Creams like voltarol or capsaicin cream can often help ease sore joints, but often people may use a combination of pain medication (either creams or tablets) and other methods, like gentle stretches, massages, acupuncture, supplements, TENS machines. We’ve got lots of information on all these which I’ve added below.

    Ways to manage your pain: https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/managing-your-pain/

    Thank you again for contributing to our forum! Wishing you all the best, Jack – Helpline Advisor