Updated: 2019, Jun 14

Arthritis and Weather: How are they related?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
arthritis and weather

Did it ever cross your mind that weather and arthritis might be related? Fall down on your knees! Because the change in the weather poses a significant effect on your joints. Although it might seem like a tale or an old wives’ story, there are numerous studies out there which supports the idea.

Still not convinced? With this article, find out how arthritis and the weather are related to each other.

How Common Is Arthritis?

how common is arthritis

Arthritis is not a common thing in our society. It is a disease that one will might experience as they age or suffer through a certain accident. It targets everyone- not making an exception on your gender, age, ethnicity, social status and much more. Here, we have cracked down some of the essential statistics that can help you in understanding how prevalent arthritis is:

  • Women are more prone to arthritis than men.
  • People from 45-64 years old showed the greatest number affected by arthritis.
  • About 83% of people who are overweight have arthritis.
  • It is a common disability in the U.S.
  • People from 18-64 years had experienced several hamper with their jobs because of arthritis.
  • Around 44% of adults in the U.S. have limited abilities because of arthritis.
  • The number of people who are suffering from arthritis is expected to have an increase of 26% by 2040.

Does Weather Affect arthritis?

Many people would sometimes feel wary because of the weather. The case is, it varies from one person to another. Others will feel more aches and stiffness during cold seasons- and some will feel a slight change. And they will simply throw the blame to rain and arthritis.

However, those people who have arthritis are more sensitive when it comes to the weather. Some of them say that their joint pain becomes more severe when there is a significant drop in the temperature- which gives way to the plausible relation of arthritis and cold weather.

In fact, one study from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders found out from the 712 participants, 469 are sensitive to the weather. All of the participants have a certain type of arthritis. Simply put, people who have arthritis showed a prevalence to weather sensitivity.

Aside from that, there is another research from the European Journal of Pain, who viewed the records and previous studies about arthritis. After their in-depth research, they found out that the weather brings significant pain to people who have arthritis. Also, every patient demonstrated a different response when it comes to weather change.

How Does The Weather Affect Arthritis?

Although there are many past researches who failed to show concrete proof on how the weather affects your arthritis condition, there are still some theories and other studies as well, which gives an explanation to this phenomenon.

The most prominent amongst these theories is about barometric pressure. Here is a short rundown of the things that you should know about it:

  • Barometric pressure is the air’s weight.
  • This is more essential in denoting levels of pain, compared to an actual barometric pressure.
  • Neither a warm weather nor cold weather can intensify the pain in your joints.
  • To further understand this, visualize the tissues around your joints as balloons. If there will be high barometric tissue pushing it from the outside, your tissues won’t expand.
  • It drops off before the cold weather occurs.
  • The pain will fade away after the weather stabilizes again.
  • In contradiction to the high barometric pressure, the lower barometric pressure will give lesser force against the body. It allows your tissues to grow.
  • Base from Arthritis Foundation, there is a significant relationship between arthritis pain and barometric pressure.
  • Another study revealed how barometric pressure affects the symptoms of arthritis.
  • If the barometric pressure rises, it can bring pain to individuals who have arthritis. In short, as the barometric pressure rises, the pain rises proportionally.

Why Does the Weather Affect Arthritis?

It is clear that weather affects arthritis a great deal. However, the reason behind the relationship between weather and arthritis is based on pressure changes or simply the weight of air passing against the earth’s surface. This then triggers joint pain which is one of the characteristics of arthritis especially

Which Type of Weather Affects You the Most?

Looking at the tons of previous studies, you will end up with rain as the top answer. One research from the Journal of Rheumatology revealed a significant connection between joint pain, temperature, and humidity. Humidity creates a massive painful impact to people who have arthritis. In short, rain and arthritis are two words that you wouldn’t wish to reunite.

On a related note, another study from Rheumatology International showed a supporting result. From the 133 participants, the majority showed a significant decrease in the symptoms of arthritis during dry and sunny days.

Simply put, arthritis and cold weather are buddies when it comes to delivering an excruciating pain to you. During those times, the pain that you will be experiencing is tougher and longer than what you would expect.

Is High Humidity Bad for Arthritis?

Having observed how weather changes affect arthritis, it is true that extreme temperatures during the spring and summer seasons can be bad for arthritis sufferers. High humidity has an impact on how joints feel and perform their functions. Many sufferers always experience changes in how they feel when there is high humidity outside.

Does Rain Increase Arthritis Pain?

does rain increase arthritis pain

Definitely yes! According to researchers from Cleveland Clinic’s orthopedic & Rheumatologic Institute rain causes a drop in the barometric pressure, your tissues tend to swell. When the swelling happens on the otherwise inflamed joint, the pain increases and becomes unbearable. This also answers the common question many people ask, “Why arthritis hurts when it rains?”

Can I Escape the Effects of Arthritis and Cold Weather?

Some people would consider moving to a warmer and dryer place to avoid the cold weather and escape the heightened symptoms of arthritis. However, even if you decided to relocate, there is no guarantee that you won’t experience a great pain in your joints because of the weather.

Once you have decided to move, your body will adapt to the new environment. Although you might somehow escape for the first few months, the latter would just give you the same result as the place you lived before.

What Should I do About Weather and Arthritis?

Since relocating is not a good option anymore, you should consider getting proper medications and natural treatment or at least take extra measures to protect yourself. Here are some ways that you can do, even at home, when the bad weather strikes:

  • Be comfortable with your clothes: since cold weather is your enemy, consider wearing a thicker dress. This will keep you warm and maintain your body heat.
  • Exercise regularly: as you move, you are also throwing the stiffness in your joints away.
  • Enhance mood: a positive mentality will help you manage the pain better.
  • Apply some heating pads: it can loosen the rigidness in your joints.
  • Medications: this can help you alleviate the pain.

From these, the best thing that you should keep in your mind is the fact that the pain is just temporary. Even though arthritis will really bring you inevitable pain at time, the pain, augmented by the weather, should fade away as the weather arises.

Rain and arthritis appear together and should also vanish at the same time. As the weather goes back to its regular, calm state, your joint should also follow and be free from too much pain.

How Can I Relieve Joint Pain During Cold Weather?

Research shows that there is a strong connection between damp, chilly winters and intensified joint pains. Those suffering from arthritis, bursitis, osteoporosis, or any joint pain disorder cannot agree more to this finding. Cold weather and changing atmospheric pressure causes joint pains to flare up. The dropping temperature causes changes in the synovial fluid surrounding the joints. These changes worsen joint pain in winters.

Tips To Relieve Joint Pain

Relieve Joint Pain During Cold Weather

You cannot get rid of joint pain completely once you have it. The best you can do is to prevent the condition from aggravating. Here are some tips on how to handle joint pain during the winters.

Exercise Inside

It is obvious that you cannot go out to exercise in the cold weather. But this does not mean you can skip your workouts. Joint pains can be treated through regular exercise. You can exercise indoors as well. If it is too cold and damp outside, you can do your workout in your cozy living area as well. You can do:

  • Aerobics
  • Stretches
  • Yoga
  • Walking
  • Little Weight Lifting

Again, remember not to overdo the workout otherwise your bones would start hurting. It is important to exercise because it will keep your joints lubricated and will reduce the pain.

Eat Healthy

Those of you suffering from joint pain should strictly follow a diet regime that contains sufficient amounts of:

You should have plenty of juices, fruits, and vegetables. You should also have milk, cereals, eggs, walnuts, and nuts. Seafood like salmon and oysters should also be included in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial in treating conditions like depression, fatigue, joint pain, and other cardiovascular disorders. Walnuts, nuts, flax seeds, sardines, soybeans, tofu, shrimps, and salmons are rich sources of this fatty acid.

Sometimes our body does not get enough omega 3 fatty acids despite consuming all the available food sources. That is the perfect time when you can consider using an omega supplement such as Omega XL. This supplement is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve your joints health thus preventing any joint related diseases.

Omega 3 can be easily absorbed by the body as compared to other supplements. It performs a variety of functions like:

  • Preventing cancer
  • Preventing blood clots
  • Thickening of arteries
  • Preventing inflammation

You must stay away from food sources containing Omega 6 fatty acids.

Dress Warmly

When it is all chilly and shivery outside, your bones and joints will need even more cushioning and warmth. You need to dress up properly. Wear enough warm clothes to shield your body against cold strokes.

Enjoy Warm Water

Take warm water showers. It will enhance blood flow and will improve blood circulation. This will help to reduce the pain. But make sure the water is not too hot as it may burn your body. Stiff muscles can be relaxed if a little heat is applied.

Take Supplements

The human body needs many vital nutrients for sustenance. Your diet may not suffice for the requirements of your body. It is important to take supplements apart from your regular diet because they help overcome various deficiencies.

Flexoplex is an important supplement because it reduces soreness of the joints and makes your joints functional. It also controls the pain and enhances blood circulation.

In the cold weather, you should take supplements that act as lubricants for your joints. Some of these supplements could be chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate. Also, you should take vitamin D supplements because they will keep your bones strong and prevent them from degenerating.

Conclusion

It may seem unbelievable to some, but weather and arthritis are related to each other. It can hype the swelling and pain that you might be experiencing. A certain increase or decrease in the temperature would give you a different feeling. If you have arthritis, then you might be avoiding the temperature drop as it would bring you an unbearable pain.

In short, you should believe an individual who has arthritis if he/she says that it would rain. Even though it is not an accurate basis, you can use it personally to be ready for the upcoming pain caused by the weather change. Also, remember that the pain that you will be experiencing because of the weather will last shortly. As the weather becomes calm and dry, your joint should be well too. However, if the pain persists, you can go for a pain relief product. Have a look at Vasayo Microlife Renew Microgel which has potent ingredients that might deliver effective results.

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Evan Jensen, CPT

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He has a master’s degree in journalism, with more

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