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What Do You Do When You Flare?

Flares are unpredictable and often seem unmanageable.

To help people who feel they are out of options, we are asking..

What do you do when you flare? What puts out or dampens the fiery pain you feel?

  1. As mother, it's hard to just drop everything adn take the day for myself. So I have a flare contigency plan. A village & players in place to do pick ups and drop offs. I work immediately on pain management. Email my HCP to let him know I'm having an issue. Then binge on old episodes of the X-Files or The West Wing. I order in food and ask for help around the house if I need it.

    I use some disposable heat pads and a heating blanket. I also use topical creams like Topricin because it has no smell and is non-greasy.

    -Brooke
    (ankylosingspondylitis.net Team Member)

    1. I sometimes use ice and sometimes heat, whichever helps the most. I sometimes walk and move and sometimes just lay or relax with ice/heat. There seems to not be any one thing that works for all flare ups.

      1. Thanks for sharing. As I alway love to point out, treatment is a bit of a moving target. You gotta keep adapting. Hopefully something works and it's easy to find.

    2. My husband is the one who has AS, and there are a few things. If his flare up is due to a severe shift in weather, it's a bit of a "wait and see."

      Other than that, he tries to make sure it's not stress-related, and if it is, address the stress somehow. My insurance covers parts of massages, so that's been a big help for him when stressed is involved.

      I know there's a fine balance between just enough movement and too much, but if he stays in bed, it'll usually get worse. Small walks are the best bet for him.

      1. Auldyn, Thanks so much for sharing your husban's story.
        I'm doing the same with the stress and have focused on it as my main treatment plan right now. It kinda falls into the theme of my first article "What Did I Do To Deserve This?" I want to make sure my thoughts and feelings weren't contributing to my pain. So far my regiment of heart health and mindfulness seems to be working!

    3. When I have a flare up I take a step back from everything and give my body the time and rest it needs to get itself back in shape. I also try a bit harder to eat more healthily, as my flare ups usually involve a lot of swelling and inflammation I try to add more anti-inflammatory foods into my diet like ginger and turmeric.


      I am also a big fan of pain creams and gel, I have experimented with a few Eastern medicines and things like moxibustion too. I think these can help with short term pain relief but definitely resting up and listening to my body and knowing not to push it too far is what helps me through the most.


      Wishing you well,
      James (Community Member)

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