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How do you handle Flareups?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,552
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Maintenance
I think anyone who has surgery or people that have had spinal problems know that there are times when things feel much worse. Those are the flare ups! Not a full bore spinal attack, but just enough to make you feel very uncomfortable, drive that pain level up a notch or so.

Flareups are no mystery. I believe that most people can almost pin point to the time / event that caused it.

So when it does happen what can you do BEFORE needing to call your doctor!

For me, its moist warm heat and just laying low for a couple of days. Try to avoid alot of bending or twisting. The hardest thing for me to handle is trying to avoid the computer work. Since that is my work, even with a flare up, I still need to spend time on the computer. Given that, I have to take breaks every 30 minutes or so and use warm ricepads or other heating pad type items on my neck, thoracic and lumbar area.

I bet everyone has their own special remedy
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • Seems to be the best for me. Moist heat and a few good hours on my back with my lower legs elevated. Not in *that* position! Dirty minded people! Lol ;) :))(
  • Yeah right Steph =))

    I chill in bed or the couch for at least 2 days. Alternating between heat and ice.
    Blankies, pillows and old repeats on T.V. I) I) I)
    If it continues more then a week then ya its time to call the doc once again ;)
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  • :) i take a hot shower and put on my sofest pjs. i get my bed all cozy and wait it out! i usually have to take extra meds so i get sleepier than usual. I) i think when our bodies are in a flare-up they are in need of repair. the body repairs itself during sleep. I) it is a good time to catch up on reading and old e-mails. i do my nails and watch some TV. if it isn't better in a week, i know i have a bigger problem than just a flare-up. ~X( anyway, flare-ups are a part of chronic pain and i just try to be patient about them. Jenny :)
  • Just a few weeks ago I must have done something to aggravate the muscle in my upper back....okay, okay...it was that lumber I loaded into the back of the pick-up. Anyway, the amount of pain I had the next day scared me, worried that I had aggravated my neck. Within a couple days I realized what I had done, so this is how I treated it.

    - Iced my neck periodically to reduce any inflamation, just in case.
    - Exercised on the eliptical and stationery bike without stretching those muscles too much but still creating warmth to loosen them up. Believe it or not the exercise helped.
    - Temporarily stopped the more difficult core exercises.
    - Heat at night to warm the muscles again to help prevent them from being too stiff in the morning.
    - And of course, muscle relaxers (just 1/2 a dose).

    Now I'm good! :D
  • Ron,
    Flare-ups are part of chronic pain, we will all get them and they will pass, eventually.

    It may well be right that in percentage terms more flare-ups than not may be identified as and when it happened, and we need to take some responsibility in reducing those conditions or reoccurrence from happening.

    The pain still hurts the same irrespective of how the situation was created, either I created it or it just happened and we feel foolish if we exceeded our capacity and paid the high price of increased pain. Sometimes there flares-ups occur just for the sake of it and we have to ride out the storm, with the anger resentment and frustration we all feel.

    Perhaps we should write a list individually of what increases this for all of us and use it as a ticklist to stay within these parameters, although that sounds very boring and I never saw a collective or repeatable pattern, it does sometimes give a clue.

    Most people who have flare-ups have a good idea as to where the threshold of activity and energy may be, over the years I have increased my rest time in the knowledge the some required activity was imminent and my wife is always support in the facts that I need rest, although I may look capable I am hiding my true capacity from her and myself. Any flare-up plan is only a suggestion and you need to find what works for you through trial and error, perhaps what can you do what does not make it worse if anything. Increased pain would make anyone feel bad and the whole concept of pain is not a single entity and in managing it more effectively no single remedy will work, it has to be a simultaneous collective approach of rest, distraction, mobility if possible and communication of how we feel to ourselves and others.

    Pacing although a simple concept is equally frustrating to live by, a staccato approach to life, in 30 minute intervals, one might suggest that life cannot be lived like this, if this the limit of your capacity what alternative do you have, just like the great escape I have achieved in my time fantastic goal in these thirty minute intervals, frustrating yes but doable.

    I know my longest was four weeks, in the same room, I knew it was night time and lay down, I had earned that sadness and taught many things, its still very vivid, the only positive I lost 10lbs.

    Take care I have a flare-up strategy now, press here to activate. :OO

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