Any self help suggestions for OA flare up?


Really painful flare up in hands and feet- any self help ideas that might provide quick relief? Message, heat, splints and pain relief just not touching the pain right now :(


  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Welcome to the forum, @KateH72 I see that you are in the middle of flare up. I hope these links may provide the assistance you are looking for.

    Good luck.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,423

    I am so sympathetic @KateH72

    Sometimes you are the 'wrong side' of pain and it can be really tough getting ahead of it again. When I am in trouble I tend to chuck everything at it and survive (distraction etc) until things ease back a bit.

    Is there any chance that your pain relief needs reviewing?

    Sending ((()))

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,740

    Rest, drugs and heat pads worked for me. Not quite s** and drugs and rock and roll, but needs must! 😅😉

  • helpline_team

    Hi @KateH72 

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I’m sorry you are in so much pain and that nothing is helping.  

     Thanks to Tom, Toni and Lilymary for their suggestions and for the link to managing pain.

    Some people find using an ice pack more effective than heat treatment to relieve symptoms of pain and inflammation in the hand, especially if the joints are swollen. When applying packs to your skin, make sure you don't put them on your bare skin, and never leave them on for longer than 20 minutes.

    As Toni suggests, your pain medication may need reviewing. I wonder if you have tried capsaicin cream? This is a drug-free, effective, and very well-tolerated painkiller which is available on prescription from your GP and is very effective for OA of the hands. It works mainly by reducing a pain transmitter in the nerves.  It doesn’t provide instant relief though – it builds up in the system and people usually notice a difference within a week or so of starting it. You can read more about it and the randomised controlled trials in which it was given a score of 5/5 for effectiveness for treating pain due to osteoarthritis of the hand here. It may be worth asking your GP if you can try it,


    You are very welcome to call us on our freephone helpline: 0800 5200 520 so you can talk things through with one of our helpline team. We can offer more tailored support, especially regarding pain management options you may not have considered and explain more about the capsaicin cream to empower you with information before you speak to your GP.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team

  • KateH72
    KateH72 Member Posts: 3

    Thank you so much all for taking time to reply, I’ll give your suggestions a try. I was literally beside myself during the night, my hands and feet felt like they were on fire. Unfortunately the types of pain relief medication I am allowed is restricted because I have non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, but it’s definitely worth asking my specialist to review my medication. Here’s hoping for a better and pain free night. Thank you all xx