by Robert S. Dinsmoor
The sudden worsening of the symptoms of arthritis or a related condition, following a period when the symptoms seemed pretty much under control. During a flare, pain and inflammation increase, and you may feel very fatigued and generally unwell. The causes of flares vary, depending on what kind of arthritis you have. In osteoarthritis, for example, overusing or injuring an arthritic joint may cause a flare. In rheumatoid arthritis, the natural workings of the inflammatory process are usually involved in flares, although exactly how is not very well understood.
During a flare, you’ll need to rest more than usual and to be especially protective of affected joints. You may also need to talk to your doctor about whether there should be any changes in your treatment.
Last Reviewed on May 19, 2010
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