Flares Action Plan
Living with inflammatory arthritis can be unpredictable. Even with treatment, there may be times when your symptoms flare. Use this action plan to discuss and plan the best way to manage flares with your rheumatology team. This action plan is for people with inflammatory arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis (also called axial spondyloarthritis).
Flares are times when your disease is more active, causing more inflammation. A flare can last from a few days to weeks.
Signs of a flare
- More severe joint pain, stiffness and/or swelling than usual
- Difficulty doing the things you need to do, including personal care, work and family life
- Feeling very tired and finding it hard to sleep at night because of pain
- Possibly a fever, body aches and/or feeling unwell
- Usual treatments aren’t keeping your symptoms under control
- Feeling frustrated, upset and withdrawing from people
Causes of a flare
Flares can happen at any time, with little or no warning and without an obvious cause. Sometimes flares can be triggered by:
- doing too much, getting run down or pushing yourself beyond your limits
- emotional stress
- infections or illnesses
- missing, skipping or taking the wrong dose of medicines
- changes to your treatment, including switching to a different medicine or reducing the dose of your medicine
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