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After sharing this post about living with chronic pain every day for 20 years, many readers have been asking more tips about dealing with pain especially an arthritic flare.
Since I have been dealing with this for 20 years, I have some great tips on how to deal with an arthritic flare step by step.
Sometimes, these are the only things that have kept me going during a bad flare. Especially when I was in college!
Before we start, make sure to always talk with your rheumatologist about your flare. It’s important to make sure they know what you are going through and monitor your health to make sure nothing more serious is going on.
If you are dealing with the pain, stiffness, and swelling that goes along with a typical flare, this will help you have relief!
PIN THIS: How to Deal with an Arthritic Flare
Start the Morning with Heat
Mornings are typically the hardest with arthritis. When I am going through a flare, my joints are so stiff and tender when I first wake up.
A few ways I use heat in the morning:
When I was in college, I started every morning with a really hot bath. It was the only way I could get through the morning. My favorite way to have a bath was to fill it with Epsom salt, eucalyptus bubble bath, peppermint oil, and some bath salts. It was so therapeutic and really helped me get through the day.
Coffee and Hot Tea
After I get my heating going in whatever method I use that morning, I have coffee. I drink coffee black with cinnamon, and it really soothes my muscles and joints.
You might have read information about there about coffee not being good for inflammation. I have researched so much about coffee over the years, and I have even stopped drinking it for months to see if it helped arthritis. I feel better when I drink it in the mornings! Everyone is different, but it really helps me. Coffee is naturally a beneficial chemical for multiple health issues (Check out this really in-depth research post we did on coffee! ). The things you add to coffee are usually the problem, so stick with natural additions or drink it black.
If you follow me on snapchat (add: alexisroch) or Instagram, you see this every morning. After I have coffee, I make my collagen concoction. It really energizes arthritic fatigue and is great for your joints. All the elements in this drink are good for inflammation too. Make sure to always use a straw for your teeth! I use these stainless steel ones.
I also drink lemon ginger tea in the mornings.
Make a Smoothie
After I do the heat, coffee, and the collagen concoction, I make a smoothie for breakfast. It usually is a version of this anti-inflammatory smoothie. I will vary it depending on what fruit I have on hand.
Another smoothie you can have through the day is this matcha green tea smoothie which is great for arthritic pain.
When my knee is bothering me, I don’t usually walk. If my knee feels good, I try to take a walk around the neighborhood for 30-45 minutes. It really gets everything going! I have been dealing with more knee issues lately, so I will do something low impact like my stationary bike, pilates, or yoga.
I also take some fitness classes using a stability ball. It is a great workout, but also gentle on joints. My instructor is amazing and always comes up with new, effective movements that you can do even with joint limitations!! I have learned a lot from her.
To keep my bad joints safe during workouts, I use an elbow brace and knee brace. It helps mobility during workouts while keeping it from moving too much. This is the copper infused elbow brace I have shown on social media. I wear a size medium for this. You want it to be tight, but not too tight. I have pretty small arms, and the medium is just right. I really like this elbow brace, and it has helped get me through any type of movement. They also have a knee brace. You can see me wearing both in our group pictures.
As a younger child, I never had an appetite during a flare. I just felt terrible and eating was the last thing on my mind. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was only making the flare worse.
Food is important for fuel and can keep your body functioning even when your inflammation is high. I keep my meals full of good food like vegetables, lean protein, and healthy grains. A balanced diet is important too. I stay away from dairy, processed foods, and drinks.
Over the years, I have done many different diets like paleo, ketogenic, low carb, high protein, and anything else trending to see what really helped inflammation. Balance has been the best. A good mixture of proteins, vegetables, and healthy grains has helped arthritis most. Dairy is the one thing I eliminate because it does aggravate my inflammation and digestive system.
Stress has always been the biggest trigger of a flare for me. Mental, emotional, and physical stress have all been issues. If I am already dealing with an arthritic flare, I try to keep things calm and low key. Sometimes that’s not always possible, but I make a conscience effort to do so.
Spending time reading, in nature, taking pictures, gardening, and anything else that I enjoy, I try to do multiple times a day 🙂
Night Time Routine
Night time is similar to morning. I always make some hot tea, get some heat going, and hook up this little tens machine for my knee.
I will also have my husband foam roll my IT bands (side of thighs) which stay really tight. I learned this tip when I was in physical therapy years ago, and it has been a huge help on my knee pain!
Okay, there is my ultimate tips on how to deal with an arthritic flare that have helped me over the last two decades. I hope this can help you too! Even if you don’t have arthritis, this is good for ANY pain you are going through.
Thanks for reading how to deal with an arthritic flare!