My Flare Essentials
I’m currently going through a hip flare-up, so I decided to write this post about my flare go-to’s, or my essentials for getting through a flare.
My ankylosing spondylitis flare tips
These essential items help me through every flare I have.
1. Hot packs
My aromatherapy heat packs are truly essential during a flare. I use them almost all day, every day. I have one that I use as a belt around my waist, and then the traditional ones you just place on your body.
I’ve always found that heat works best for my pain. Sometimes it doesn’t help much, but other times it does a great job. I also use a heating pad a lot in bed. Whether it be for my stomach, hips, pelvis, back, etc. I use it a ton.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that I take a lot of baths. Like previously mentioned, heat helps me. I take a bath almost every day regardless of a flare-up, but I take extra long ones when I’m in pain. Using Epsom salts, bath bombs, soothing soaps and whatever you like to use in the bath can help relax you for a little bit while you flare. I use a lot of lavender soaps and bath bombs in my baths because I love the smell of lavender.
Doing something simple and nice for yourself while you’re in pain is so important because you deserve it. Make a cup of tea, light a candle, and just relax in the bathtub for a while.
Being around other people while experiencing a flare isn’t totally ideal. At least for me, it isn’t. I don’t like others to see me when I’m in pain and unable to do things I, for the most part, normally can. I also don’t like to ask for help, so I usually just keep to myself and my family when I’m flaring.
What I’ve found, though, is that being around the people that you’re most comfortable with during a flare is pretty helpful. Friends can help you out, play games with you, watch movies with you, have talks, everything you need to distract yourself for a little while. Distractions are so helpful because getting your mind off of your pain for even 20 minutes is better than nothing. Even if you can’t get your mind off of it, at least you’re not alone.
4. TV and movies
A big flare essential for me is entertainment. Whether that be TV, movies, YouTube, or anything else, these are great for keeping you distracted for hours on end. Bingeing shows on Netflix is something that’s become so common nowadays, but it’s so helpful for those of us with chronic pain and illnesses.
Being able to be in bed for hours while being entertained, taking our minds off of being in pain and unable to do much, is a great way to wait out a flare. With endless hours of content for us to watch, we can do this seemingly forever. It’s great to get caught up in a drama or comedy, horror or romance, and forget about what’s going on with our bodies for a while. Distractions are key for a flare-up.
What are your flare essentials?
Now that I’ve shared my flare essentials, what are some of yours? I’m always open to trying new things to help a flare-up, so please share yours!
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?