How Long Do RA Flare Ups Last?

Rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups are disruptive, but they can be managed. During an RA flare-up, typical arthritis symptoms worsen, but how long do RA flare ups last? In this post, Anchor Wellness Center provides information and guidance on RA flare-ups, and what you can do at home.

What Causes RA Flare-Ups?

RA flare-ups can last anywhere from several hours, to several weeks. The duration of an RA flare-up and the effect it has on an individual can vary greatly from one person to the next. Common causes for RA flare-ups include:

  • Overexertion and repetitive motion.
  • Stress.
  • Lack of sleep/rest.
  • An infection, like the flu.
  • Poor diet and lifestyle habits.

What are the Symptoms of an RA Flare-Up?

The chronic pain of an RA flare-up can cause stress, irritability and make it difficult to sleep. RA flare-ups also make it difficult to perform regular activities, which can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental and physical well-being. The symptoms of an RA flare-up may include:

  • Increased joint pain.
  • Stiffness.
  • Tenderness in joints.
  • Swelling and inflammation.
  • Fever.
  • Fatigue and night sweats
  • Low mood and irritability.

Treating RA Flare-Ups

It’s important to learn to recognize the early signs of an RA flare-up. This can help indicate a need for rest or other preventative measures before an RA flare-up becomes severe. Keep a journal to document early signs and activities performed. Once patterns become evident, it’s easier to avoid strenuous activities and treat symptoms proactively. Home remedies that help manage RA flare-ups include:

  • Rest the affected joint or area. It helps to be prepared by letting employers and family members know you’ll need some help and understanding during an RA flare-up.
  • Gentle exercise like stretching and range-of-motion exercises can help prevent stiffness. Be sure to consult with a medical professional about safe activities during an RA flare-up.
  • Hot or cold packs can help reduce swelling as soon as symptoms appear. It’s important that hot and cold packs are NOT placed directly on the skin, but wrapped in a towel.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet can help manage RA flare-up symptoms. Be sure to limit processed foods, trans fats, refined sugars and alcohol intake. Instead, opt for a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.

Anchor Wellness Center Can Help

Anchor Wellness Center is a proponent of functional medicine. Our approach seeks to find the underlying causes of health concerns and create a holistic, individualized treatment approach. By focussing on prevention, rather than reaction, we can improve your health and quality of life from day one.

Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM, is a Board Certified physician in Family Medicine, as well as with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Malhotra will help you create an individualized treatment plan to help prevent and/or manage RA flare-ups. Call (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation or book a Complimentary Strategy Session today!


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