Arthritis is no laughing matter and flare ups can happen at any time.  The unpredictable nature of it makes it more insidious, and unfortunately, previous injuries make those flare ups more likely to occur. Injuries can virtually guarantee that they’ll occur more frequently.

While you may require prescription medication to manage the pain and make flare ups easier to deal with, there are a number of viable over the counter medications that can work. A number of home remedies have a demonstrated track record of being effective, too.

In terms of over the counter medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Motrin and Advil, both of which contain ibuprofen, aspirin, or Aleve, which contains naproxen, are good options. Taking Tylenol  (acetaminophen) is another good option for pain relief, but bear in mind that acetaminophen doesn’t treat inflammation of an arthritis flare up; it just helps reduce the pain.

Where home remedies are concerned, a few of the more common options include:

  • Heat therapy to ease stiffness
  • Massage therapy
  • Breathing exercises which help to reduce stress
  • Acupuncture

It’s also important, if you suffer from arthritis and are in the midst of a flare up, that you pace yourself and take frequent breaks as you’re going about your day.

Unfortunately, none of the home remedies mentioned above will reduce your inflammation and swelling, but they can help make the flare-up easier to manage.

Even if you’re not taking prescription medications for your arthritis, it’s important that you consult with your doctor before making use of over the counter medicines or home remedies. Of course, that’s even more important if you are taking something prescribed by your doctor.  Failure to do so could lead to complications that might make matters worse or give you a new problem you hadn’t considered.