Does your arthritis seem more noticeable in the summer? Do pain, swelling and stiffness make it difficult to move? Seasonal factors such as humidity, dehydration, and changes in barometric pressure can contribute to joint pain and intensify arthritis symptoms. While there’s nothing you can do about the weather, there are steps you can take to prevent and manage arthritis flares.
The Dos and Don’ts of Arthritis Flares
Do make a plan.
When your arthritis flares, your routine treatments may not be enough. Make a plan for possible flares with your doctor. You’ll also want to consider your responsibilities at home and work. Ask your loved ones for a little extra help around the house, and take time off work when your body needs it.
Don’t ignore early warning signs.
Treating a flare early is key. Pay attention to mild symptoms such as achy hands and excessive daytime sleepiness.
Do practice good hygiene.
Immunosuppressant medications can put you at higher risk for infection from viruses and bacteria. And infections subsequently trigger flares. Prevent both illness and arthritis pain by staying up-to-date on vaccines, washing your hands often, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
Stress, anxiety, depression, and poor sleep habits can all lead to inflammation and worsen joint pain. Try meditation and visualization techniques to manage stress and make an effort to get enough sleep. Gentle exercise and movement can help prevent joints from becoming stiff.
Do seek treatment when you need it.
Our urgent care is here to help with arthritis flares and any possible side effects of arthritis treatments. Come see us for symptoms, such as:
- Flu or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches
- Acute joint pain and swelling not typical of a flare
- Red, hot, swollen joints
- Severe and sudden abdominal pain