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How Long Does A Flare-Up Of Osteoarthritis Last & What Does Severe Osteoarthritis Look Like?

Flare-up osteoarthritis condition implies both sudden and temporary increases in various symptoms related to osteoarthritis. The condition usually affects the cartilage of your bone joints i.e. a slippery tissue present at your bones’ end. If we talk about healthy bone joints, cartilage helps in the smooth movement of bones. However, the condition of osteoarthritis forces wearing out of the cartilage and rubbing of various bones, which result in stiffness and pain. Flare-up may take place because of many factors. These include stress, injury and weather fluctuations.(1)

How Long Does A Flare-Up Of Osteoarthritis Last?

In most cases, flare-up osteoarthritis and any other similar type of inflammatory disease last for a long time and become worse whenever they experience an increase in morning stiffness. Accordingly, when people wake up during the morning hours, their bone joints become stiff than usual and they need a long time until and unless the joints lose enough to perform daily activities.

If individuals have bad flares related to osteoarthritis, fatigue and morning stiffness lasts for the entire day and strongly interfere with their lives. Now, the question that comes in the mind is for how long, people suffer from flares. The answer is affected people may persist flare-up osteoarthritis for several weeks or several months until and unless they have any change in the underlying treatment.

In most of the cases, symptoms are reliable indicators of flare-up osteoarthritis or simply arthritis flare. Hence, you need to keep a track of symptoms and take the necessary actions to treat the problem of arthritis.

Changes in the blood may even indicate the increase in pain and inflammation. For instance, the problem leads to an increase in C-reactive protein present in the blood and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Even though the mentioned test results do not vary significantly during an arthritis flare, they give supporting evidence related to worsening in disease activity. However, the data is important for your doctor to keep track of your improvement after your flare treatment.

Doctors should essentially suppress the problem of inflammation at the time of flares, especially after your osteoarthritis diagnosis i.e. when you initially suffer damages to the joints. However, the period, for which suppression of your flare-up lasts, depends on your taken medicines. An effective strategy to follow in this case is to intake prednisone in a low dosage to control the symptoms in no time. However, in some cases, flare-up fails to cure and hence, patients may suffer from osteoarthritis in its severe form.(2)

What Does Severe Osteoarthritis Look Like?

When patients suffer from severe osteoarthritis, cartilage erodes to cause rubbing of bones on other bones. When the bones of a patient rub with one another, his/her shape of bone joint changes to cause joint instability and joint deformity both. Deformation and instability of joints further lead to inflamed synovium i.e. soft tissue between joints and other related structures. Moreover, you may suffer from bone spurs or osteophytes formation, shortened or contracted ligaments and muscular weakness across your affected bone joints.

Symptoms Of Severe Osteoarthritis

If you suffer from severe osteoarthritis, pain may take place with motion and activity, along with when you take rest. Your motion range of the affected joints will remain limited if you suffer from severe osteoarthritis. Besides, you may experience joint locking or joint buckling problems. Even though, locking or buckling joints seem to be nuisances, they lead to severe consequences, especially when your joint locks or buckles. Along with this, you may experience a few of the additional symptoms, such as-

  • Stiffness while walking
  • Swelling across your bone joints after the prolonged use
  • Cracking or clicking of joint noises
  • Joint pain, which becomes worse as your day progresses
  • Difficulty in doing daily tasks
  • Increase in incidents related to tripping and falling.(3)


To conclude, we should say that people suffer from flare-up osteoarthritis for several weeks or several months, especially if they experience morning stiffness. Moreover, in some cases, patients may suffer from a severe type of osteoarthritis, in which they experience stiffness, cracking joints, swelling across bone joints and many more.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 8, 2020

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