Osteoarthritis Flares

Clin Geriatr Med. 2022 May;38(2):239-257. doi: 10.1016/j.cger.2021.11.001.


The phenomenon of flares is a common feature in the daily life of people with osteoarthritis (OA). Characterized by episodes of sudden-onset increases in signs and symptoms, their impact can often be distressing and disabling. Despite their potential to have both short-term and long-term consequences for patients across the whole course of the condition, their occurrence and optimal management are not fully understood. This article provides a contemporary perspective on defining OA flares and their potential triggers, and offers suggestions for how health professionals might explore flare patterns with patients in clinical practice and frame timely best-practice treatment approaches.

Keywords: Acute; Exacerbation; Flare; Management; Osteoarthritis; Pain; Symptom variability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee*