Flares with osteoarthritis?


I have osteoarthritis in every joint now and I am 25 years in. My mobility is so bad I do not venture out much and do get depressed and that feeling of 'Whats the point?'

I have noticed that I am sometimes in the most extreme of pain and it his all over at the same time, so hard to tell where one joint ends and another begins. I am just wiped out with the pain and so wondered if this is a 'flare'? I have always thought it was but have been told that you do not get flares with OA?

I just wondered how others feel when the pain is almost too much to bear and if like me you have days when the pain is bad but bearable and then it all becomes so extreme? My lumber spine was the final straw for me and I call that the 'screaming pain' for it feels it is screaming and I have to sit down fast and it relieves some but is always there.

The flares are regular but follow no pattern, they just come on and last for usually around 3 days and then are gone and I am back to knowing where the pain is. In a flare I am just in total pain.



  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520

    I am so sorry you are having a rough time at the moment, me too as mine is playing up. I also have an auto-immune kind so know a bit about flares.

    When my auto-immune has a go at me the inflammation affects my whole body and the exhaustion it causes is similar to that which happens after a dose of flu. You could cover my bed with a million quid in twenties and I will merely turn over and go back to sleep. I had a nine week flare at the beginning of the year when I was happily housebound (happily in that I had no interest, enthusiasm or ability to do anything else apart from sleep). I am now through that but my OA has ramped up and for good reason.

    My OA doesn't flare, it worsens for one of three reasons: the weather, my activity or lack of and my diet. I cannot control the first but can infuence the others. The temperature here in Suffolk has plunged which does not suit my joints. Neither does low pressure weather and damp. Things ease as it warms or the pressure rises.

    It worsens when I overdo things or when I don't do enough - now that is a fine line to tread! Any inflammation is localised and disperses with rest and maybe voltarol or a bit of heat.

    It worsens when I indulge my love of pickle and pickled foods. That does not cause inflammation but it does increase pain.

    To dull the sharper edges of pain I take a minimum of four 30/500 cocodamol per day and eat figs or prunes to combat the resulting constipation. I try to stop activities when I think I can do more and exercise suitably on a daily basis. This is particularly important for my leg muscles as my OA is worst in my ankles, knees and hips. I also have the other in all my toes and both knees. I took my pain relief at nine because I am going out into the garden to muck about with solar fairy lights - distraction is my key pain relief strategy, if I am not focused on the pain it appears diminished. I plunged into depression in 2011 when my OA was diagnosed and to this day take a small daily dose of an anti-depressant to help me maintain an even keel. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,468

    The flare is most likely due to the weather changing, low pressure to high pressure and back again, see ‘cloudywithachanceofpain’ for a full explanation, a number of us took part in the research over 16 months.

    Our moods and emotions tend to follow the state of our illness or long term conditions, the long nights of pain when there seems no end and days of thinking of nothing else are just thoughts and thoughts can be changed to more positive ones, they can be used to overcome our pain by shifting our concentration away from our pain and onto ones that allow us to function at a higher level, tis but a simple trick.

    You sound as if you are the perfect candidate for a Pain Clinic Course, talk to your GP for a referral, the new courses are excellent, given at quite a high level and will stand you in good stead to cope with arther and yourself. Many GPS haven’t been on them yet.

    its a grin, honest!