Flare up pain

A flare-up refers to a period of intense pain which is felt more severely to the day-to-day chronic pain.

Flare-ups may last hours or days and often there is no set pattern to them. They often come on quickly and without much warning, so they can be worrying and difficult to cope with. flare up

It doesn't appear that resting a lot at this time really helps. Some people have found that doing small amounts of activity often actually improves the flare-up more than rest. Take care not to create an over-reliance on medication at this time.

Coping with flare-ups is a skill worth developing and takes time and experience to evolve. Planning in advance for any flare-ups can really reduce your distress.

Helpful hints

  • Recognise a flare-up is happening and stay calm;
  • Take your medications as prescribed;
  • Have some reassuring expressions at hand such as, 'this won't last forever, it never does';
  • Practise deep breathing and relaxation many times. Tense muscles worsens pain;
  • Be kind to yourself and make yourself as comfortable as possible.


The Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA) is a health promotion charity providing advocacy, information and practical support for people living with chronic (persistent) pain and their families. APMA is the consumer health organisation for all Australians who live with pain. APMA is your voice.


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Australian Pain Management Association Ltd. (APMA)Victory Offices
Level 10, 900 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006