The fact is, once you’ve experienced an arthritis flare-up, you won’t ever forget it. The excruciating pain will put you on your guard against future attacks and certainly encourage you to develop a solid prevention plan. Flare-ups of RA, OA and lupus symptoms can occur after a period of disease remission. The exact causes of arthritis flares are not known, and it is important that you don’t blame yourself for disease recurrence. Maintaining your medication regimen and following a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a well-balanced diet, the right amount of sleep for you, managing stress and not smoking can `help reduce the risk of flare-ups.
Here are some tips for preventing an arthritis flare-up. While these tips come with no guarantee, they are common sense actions which will cut your chance of going into a flare-up.
- Keep to your doctor’s treatment regime. Don’t skip your medications or other treatments. It is important to keep inflammation and pain under control. Skipping medications gives your body a chance to flare-up, allowing pain and inflammation to increase. Arthritis can be likened to the embers of a fire, smoldering and looking for an opportunity to re-ignite. Don’t knowingly help it ignite.
- Keep moving. Exercise can maintain a range-of-motion in the joints and assist muscle strength. But, at the same time, it is important not to overdo activities. Overdoing activities and ignoring physical limitations can provoke a flare-up, defeating the objective of your efforts.
- It is important not to stress joints or add an extra burden to the mechanics of them, especially with those already affected by arthritis. Following a few simple principles can help us protect the joints and, by doing so, decrease pain and inflammation and the risk of a flare-up.
- Stress has a negative impact on arthritis. While in real life is not without stress, try and do what you can to simplify your life: organize your day, conserve energy, and develop an attitude of acceptance. Meditation can help.
- Getting proper rest and sleep is important. People with arthritis need to rest their bodies even more than the average, healthy human. But don’t become sedentary – strike a balance between rest and activity. Disrupted sleep, especially on a regular basis, seems to increase pain and the risk of a flare-up, but of course, it can be a vicious cycle at times, with arthritis causing restlessness at night, so making the condition worse.
- Some claim certain foods increase inflammation and make arthritis symptoms worse. This is likely the most individual tip of all those mentioned so far. If you are aware that certain foods make your arthritis feel worse, simple. Steer clear of them. Just don’t eat foods that you know might trigger inflammation.