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I don’t know what a flare is.

I’m recently diagnosed with PsA, I’m on my own journey of research, understanding and treatments. Whilst I’m only 7 months into being officially diagnosed, with knowledge of what and how this disease presents itself I believe it’s been apparent for 10+ years. There are obvious signs of active disease, dactylitus, ankle swelling, but what about all the other broken bits that scream as loud, if not louder than the visual ones? Back, lower and upper spine - I’ve had a discectomy at L5/S1 and then had it revised 2 years later, it still hurts. C5/C6 I have a diagnosed symmetrical impingement, but does that cause all the pain in my shoulders, arms and hands?

I don’t understand a flare. No more than I can stand the question (from a loved one); how do you feel today? Or from a medical professional; rate your pain out of 10. My pain is relentless. It’s constant. I no longer know how to rate my pain out of 10, if 10 is the worst pain ever known, then I probably (like most of us) live at about 7.5. But sometimes that’s 25. Out of 10.

My point is, I’m either in a flare that has been ongoing since mid Jan, or I’ve not had a flare yet and this is just normal. Trying to put a label on what a flare is is really tough. I’m not experienced enough with living with this disease, examining myself enough to determine what a flare is.
How do you assess if you are in a flare - or am I overthinking it?

  1. Hi , thank you for starting this thread. I hope more people can chime in to share how they assess if they're in a flare. Everyone might have slightly different definitions or criteria they use to assess since everyone's different.

    Especially as someone diagnosed, I don't think you're overthinking it! Actually, one of our patient leaders, Leanne, has written a lot about this topic. You're definitely not alone in this confusion:,, Warmly, Minel (Team Member)

    1. Hi again, , I wanted to let you know that we posted your question on Facebook. If you're interested, please feel free to check out the responses: Some people share how they identify that they're flaring. Best, Minel (Team Member)

      1. Thank you for doing this. It helps to know what the common features are from other sufferers. It was very kind of you to think of that.

        1. I've gotta agree! I'm 5 years in and still can't tell when I'm under a flare or for how long they last. I know sometimes it is tougher than others.

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