For many people living with arthritis, fatigue is a regular occurrence. Arming yourself with information is the first step along the road to pain control and living life with arthritis to the full.
This is a condensed version. To read the full version, download our fatigue factsheet here.
In this section:
Fatigue is an overpowering sense of tiredness, a feeling of exhaustion, and lack of energy. It differs from the usual tiredness that we all experience at times. Fatigue may be physical, emotional or psychological – or a combination of all three.
Arthritis and fatigue
Arthritis is a fluctuating condition, meaning that its effects can vary from day to day. Typically, there will be times when the symptoms of arthritis improve or even disappear (referred to as ‘going into remission’), and times when they worsen (known as ‘flare-ups’).
Two of the most common symptoms of arthritis are inflammation and chronic pain, which often cause fatigue. Fatigue is most likely to be experienced when you have a flare-up, which is when your arthritis is most active.
People with arthritis may experience fatigue over long periods of time, but this is not the same as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), which is also referred to as ME.