Monday, May 12, 2008 eswlfla, Community Member, asks

Q: Aching/Chills in the evening hours

I have RA and taking Methatrexate, Voltaren and Plaquenal.  I also am prescribed Ultram for pain when needed, but I prefer to take Tylenol instead.  I am also considering the option of Enbrel of which I haven't made up my mind about yet.   However, I find that my flare ups mostly start in the early evening and go throughout the night, especially in the early hours when I wake up all achy, with chills and in alot of pain.  The only comfort I find is in taking Tylenol, which helps relieve the achiness and relieves the pain.   Any other suggestions?  Will a heating pad help?  I live in a warm climate so an electric blanket is not an option this time of year, but I used it quite frequently in the winter months.

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Answers (2)
Hollybgroovin, Health Guide
5/14/08 1:30pm

The aching and chills are probably from a low grade fever due to your flare.  A heating pad definitely will help with the nightly aching.  The problems with a flare is that if you are not getting much sleep due to pain and throbbing it intensifies the flare.  What I do before bed is take a very hot bath.  Not only does is take weight off your throbbing joint, the heat helps the throbbing.  Also if you get a heating pad for your joint I would recommend getting a bean bag or a rice bag heating pad that will mold to whatever joint you need it to.  Speak with your rheumatologist and your primary.  They may want to temporarily increase your pain medication or try you on a sleeping pill. Lack of sleep causes more pain which is a vicious cycle.  Make sure you speak to your doctor, he may be able to help.  Good luck and best wishes!

Shawnda, Community Member
10/ 5/09 11:06am

Thank You.


I have been recently diagnosed with this and I am having a difficult time. I am taking several medications and they don't seem to help yet. Since Friday I can't write and now barely type from all the swelling that I have. I don't know what really to do but your message has helped me a bit.

Thank You Again,


lilredcq, Community Member
6/23/10 1:29am

I have had 3 types of arthritis for over 20 years now.  I have found that hot baths help quite a bit.  A parrafin bath for both hands and feet are extremely helpful.  You can now purchase over the counter a parrafin bath at stores such as Wal-mart and Wallgreen.  If you would prefer to make your own parrafin bath take 3 boxes of wax as used in canning or making candles.  For every 3 boxes use one full pint of mineral oil.  You can heat the wax and add the mineral oil to approximately 102 degrees.  The mineral oil stops the wax from burning your skin and allowing the heat to penetrate to the joints.  I received this treatment in therapy and was told by the therapist how I could make my own at home.  it works GREAT!!! After melting the wax and adding the mineral oil dip your hand in and out leaving it in the wax only a few seconds.  Dip your hand about 4 times then take a plastic bag such as a bread bag and wrap it around the hand leave it on until the wax hardens and will begin to fall off.  The wax can be put back into the wax/mineral oil mix.  After using the mix on both hands 3 times add more mineral oil as this is the key factor to stop the burning of the skin and what allows the joints to absorb the heat.  I also use it for my feet.  It has helped tremendously.  The other form of help I have found is water therapy.  A heated pool or jacuzzi takes the weight and preasure off the joints which allows movement.  The water therapy and parrafin baths have helped me to not totally rely on a power wheelchair.  I have been dealing with this since 1989.  It may not work for your but it has been very beneficial to me. (please forgive any misspelled words as that is definitely NOT one of my strong points lol)

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By eswlfla, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/10/10, First Published: 05/12/08