Do you find that the weather affects your arthritis, same here! Not everybody has the same effects but it has been studied that changes in barometric pressure can cause arthritis symptoms to be more active.
Now, there hasn’t been a ton of research on this topic, but there are a few theories. This article on WebMD covers a lot of it, https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/weather-and-joint-pain#1. One theory is that “when the cartilage that cushions the bones inside a joint is worn away, nerves in the exposed bones might pick up on changes in pressure” (Does Weather Affect Joint Pain, WedMD). Another theory: “changes in barometric pressure may make your tendons, muscles, and any scar tissue expand and contract, and that can create pain in joints affected by arthritis. Low temperatures can also make the fluid inside joints thicker, so they feel stiffer” (Does Weather Affect Joint Pain, WedMD).
It’s really hard to pinpoint what causes this type of pain because like I said the research findings have been all over the map. I personally know some people who’s arthritis does better in colder weather, while others (like mine) does better in the warmth. It seems there has been more evidence behind worsening symptoms with changing barometric pressure than anything. For example, the pressure going from average to unusually high or to unusually low may aggravate arthritis. Barometric pressure is simply just the pressure within the Earth’s atmosphere.
Arthritis is not the only thing suspected to be affected by changes in barometric pressure. Changes in pressure have also been seen to bring on headaches, changes in blood pressure, changes in blood sugar, and increased anxiety.
As I said, a lot of this truly seems to be on a case by case basis. Finding what is best for you is important! I find that warm temperatures improves my symptoms but I also swear I can tell it is raining based on my joints. Another perk to being in warm weather is being able to spend a lot of time outside moving my body which has really proved to be such a valuable form of treatment.
It can be valuable to know how your body reacts to things so you can better prepare.
Example: I know that the rain makes my joints stiff and I have noticed if it rains overnight I wake up stiff and swollen the next morning. To try and beat my arthritis to the punch I may take Aleve before bed or sleep with a heating pad.
The Arthritis Foundation offers this tool on its website, the Weather & Arthritis Index. By simply plugging in your zip code they will let you know what the chance is of you having weather-related arthritis pain that day or later in the week. Please follow the link: https://www.arthritis.org/weather
Other Links to Check Out on this Topic:
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