Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Does Weather Affect Arthritis Pain

How Does Low Pressure Affect Weather

Does Weather Affect Arthritis?

Low pressure is what causes active weather. The air is lighter than the surrounding air masses so it rises, causing an unstable environment. Rising air makes the water vapor in the air condense and form clouds and rain for example. Low pressure systems lead to active weather like wind and rain, and also severe weather.

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How To Help Joint Pain When The Weather Changes

Keeping the above in mind, here are the things you can do to alleviate any joint pain you may feel:

  • Keep yourself warm. When it gets colder and you start to feel your joints twinge in pain, reach for things that will warm you back up. Options include additional layers of clothing, warm baths, and hot presses.
  • Certain pain medications prescribed by your doctor can help make the pain easier, as can over-the-counter options.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get exercise, and have plenty of sleep. Youve heard time and time again how good these habits are for your body. That includes joint discomfort.
  • Paraffin baths are a favorite of many people who have joint problems. This tool melts wax in a small container, allowing you to dip your hands and feet in. The wax hardens on skin and the warmth from the wax absorbs into the joints to warm them up. Speak to your doctor to see if this is a good option for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and do low-impact exercises. Both of these options ease the effort your joints go through on a daily basis, including those that are horribly cold and rainy.

If you have any more questions about how bad weather affects joint pain, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain-alleviating specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

How To Relieve Knee Pain In Cold Weather

There are a few things you can do to relieve knee pain in cold weather. One is to wear a knee brace or wrap. This will help to keep your knee warm and supported. Another is to take ibuprofen or another anti-inflammatory medication. This will help to reduce swelling and pain. Finally, you can try using a heating pad or ice pack on your knee for 20 minutes at a time.

Joint pains are common symptoms of an injury or an underlying health condition. A lack of consensus about the cause of cold weather leg pain is among the factors that contribute to it. Some theories indicate changes in atmospheric pressure or barometric pressure. Some people claim that your perception of pain can be affected by seasonal affective disorder . When running outside in cold weather, keep your body warm to aid in joint pain relief. If your joints still hurt after using these tips, you should consult with a physical therapist or orthopedist. If you frequently feel your legs are cold, it is critical to see a doctor.

When the weather is cold, your joints may feel more sore, weaken, grind, and become weaker. When barometric pressure is reduced, soft tissues become more flexible, and nerves become more sensitive. Cold-weather knee problems can be treated by our doctors and physical therapists at OrthoBethesda.

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The Link Between Weather And Joint Pain

It isnt entirely clear why weather affects people with arthritis, but the link between weather and arthritic pain has been extensively studied. People with arthritis may experience pain in places where temperature changes are more extreme and in damp climates. They also experience pain in response to climate factors like humidity, air pressure, and wind speed. Temperature and barometric pressure have also been noted as contributing factors to joint pain. Understanding how different weather patterns affect pain can help people with arthritis find the best climate for them.

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Ways To Minimize Weather

Does the Weather Really Affect Arthritis Pain?

Whether or not researchers can prove that weather-related changes cause joint pain, youll want to experience relief if youre feeling joint pain on a cold or rainy day.

Try these strategies to ward off or reduce weather-related joint pain:

  • Exercise regularly. Being physically active helps to strengthen your muscles and bones, which helps to take pressure off of your joints.
  • Keep moving. Find ways to get your usual activity in, even if you cant walk around the block. Consider walking at the mall or using a treadmill.
  • Stretch before moving. Do a few stretches before you do any physical activity. Youll warm up your muscles and improve your flexibility, which is good for your joints.
  • Keep your weight in a healthy range. Lose weight if youre overweight, or maintain your current weight if its in the healthy range. Carrying around extra weight puts additional strain on your joints, including your knees and hips, which may make weather-related joint pain feel more intense.
  • Use heat before activity and cold after. A heating pad may help to relax your muscles and loosen you up before activity and cold afterward can help with swelling and inflammation.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Medications like ibuprofen help to reduce pain and lower inflammation, which should help you to start feeling better.
  • Try to maintain a positive outlook. Dont let a gray, miserable day bring down your mood. When you feel better emotionally, you may also feel better physically.

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Bring The Heat With Chili Peppers

One way to combat cold-induced pain is with some spicy heat in the form of capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers. Rub a capsaicin lotion or gel over painful joints to help ease the pain and reduce swelling, says Don R. Martin, MD, a rheumatologist with Sentara RMH Rheumatology in Harrisonburg, Virginia. You may feel a slight burning sensation but that should subside within a minute or two. A meta-analysis published in the journal Systematic Reviews found scientific evidence dating back decades showing that capsaicin has pain-relieving properties for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bookmark The Aches & Pains Weather Map

Changes in barometric pressure appear to be the main link between weather and pain, according to weather service Intellicast. Low pressure is generally associated with cold, wet weather and an increase in pain clear, dry conditions signal high pressure and a decrease in pain, they explain. To help people who are sensitive to these changes, they keep an interactive Aches & Pains weather map that shows weather patterns in your area and how they might affect your pain levels.

I might as well be a weather person, Im so sensitive to changes, says Charlene G., 37, who has rheumatoid arthritis. I can tell you without even looking if its snowing. Knowing in advance helps her plan out her day so shes made the map her homescreen on her computer and checks it every morning.

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New Research Indicates Links Between Weather And Arthritis Pain

Many people living with arthritis have told us that they experience a change in their symptoms due to the weather. We know that everyones experience of arthritis is different and that for some people, weather and temperature will have the opposite effect on their pain levels, than it does for another person.

Research published today by Manchester University and funded by us, indicates that people with long-term health conditions can be up to 20 per cent more likely to suffer from pain on days that are humid and windy with low atmospheric pressure.

You Likely Cant Relocate To Avoid The Weather

Dr. Stephen Duncan answers a common question about cold weather and arthritis pain

So if joint symptoms are milder on sunnier, drier days, why doesnt everyone move to Los Angelessurely this is the best weather for arthritis? Well, one study found that weather sensitivity wasnt related to where the study participants lived, whether that was San Diego, Nashville, Boston, or Worcester, MAhumidity levels change, and temperature drops can happen everywhere.10, 11 Therefore, you should talk to your doctor about a remedy for the pain so that you can go on and enjoy the great outdoorseven on those cold and humid days!

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Can You Prevent Arthritis Flare

Anyone with arthritis will tell you that planning ahead to avoid flare-ups is key. According to the Arthritis Foundation, a solid prevention plan is one of the best ways to manage your arthritis and avoid flare-ups.

People with weather-sensitive arthritis cant control the weather, but they can learn to prepare better for certain weather conditions and the symptoms that may accompany those changes. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Keep an eye on weather conditions for the upcoming days and weeks in your area, if keeping tabs on the forecast feels genuinely helpful to you.
  • Try to avoid being in harsh weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, for long periods of time.
  • Dress in warm, dry clothing when the weather is cold.
  • Dress in cool, loose clothing when the weather is hot and humid.
  • Adjust the temperature inside your home to be neutral , neither too hot nor too cold.

Outside of planning around the weather, its also important to have a prevention plan for any other triggers that can lead to a flare-up in your symptoms. So, if youre someone whose arthritis is negatively affected by things such as infection, illness, overexertion, or even emotional stress, your plan might also include:

Dont Take On Chores Alone

If you live with arthritis, its important that you maintain activity in your life to keep your joints from becoming stiff. However, certain tasks including some of the most common chores you may be performing during winter may do more harm than good when it comes to your joints. High-impact activities, including snow shoveling and leaf raking, can actually cause unnecessary pain or even long-term damage by putting too much strain on your affected joint or joints. This winter season, you might consider reaching out to a friend, family member, or neighbor for assistance. Its worth it to protect your body.

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Tips For Dealing With Arthritis Pain In Winter

How many times have you sworn that a storm was coming because your arthritis pain was flaring up? How many times has a bone-chilling cold caused your joints to swell and get inflamed with pain and stiffness?

Winter weather can be especially tough for those who suffer from arthritis, and there could be some truth to the old wives tale that aching joints can be an indicator of a change in weather. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation even cites studies that show lower barometric pressure caused more aches and pains for people in barometric pressure chambers.

Arthritis can be classified as either inflammatory or non-inflammatory. Inflammatory arthritis features inflammatory white blood cells in the joint fluid. Forms of inflammatory arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus arthritis, gout, and many others. Forms of non-inflammatory arthritis include osteoarthritis, arthritis of thyroid disease, arthritis after injury and many others. Studies have shown that cold weather can affect both inflammatory and non-inflammatory arthritis.

With winter in full swing, cold weather pain and arthritis can be uncomfortable and affect your quality of life. The cold doesnt cause arthritis, but it can increase joint pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Here are some great tips to deal with arthritis pain during the winter months.

1. Stay warm and layer up

2. Eat a healthy diet

3. Get your stress under control

4. Stay active and exercise

6. Get your vitamin D

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The Effects Of Humidity And Barometric Pressure

One two-year study looked at the effect of the weather on 222 patients with hip osteoarthritis. Researchers found that higher humidity levels were associated with more pain and that higher barometric pressures were associated with worse function. The severity of the osteoarthritis, however, was not affected.1

Another study, this time on 810 patients with osteoarthritis of the hips and knees, also found that there was a significant association between daily average humidity and temperature and changes in joint pain. The effect of humidity was found to be more pronounced during periods of colder weather.2

In contrast, studies looking at osteoarthritis of the spine did not find such a link. For example, a large Australian study with 1,604 patients showed no effect of the weather on the severity of back pain experienced by these patients.3

Which Weather Conditions Are Worst

If you combine results of the various studies, the general consensus is that cold, wet weather is the worst for inciting arthritis pain. Terence Starz, MD, rheumatologist at University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Pittsburgh, may have summed it up best with this quip he shared from one of his patients, The frost is on the pumpkin and the pain is back in my joints.

Changes in barometric pressure a measure that refers to the weight of the air seem to be more important for pain levels than the actual barometric pressure. Meaning that either a cold front or warm front coming in can ramp up the ache in your fingers. But once the weather has settled in, your pain will even out.

A 2015 study of 810 people with OA published in Journal of Rheumatology found significant links between humidity, temperature and joint pain. The effect of humidity on pain was stronger when the weather was colder. In essence, they found that wet, winter days are no fun.

A 2015 study of 133 RA patients published in Rheumatology International found that their disease activity was lower when their days were sunny and dry.

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What Kind Of Weather Is Best For Arthritis

If moving to a new locale is truly on the table, you wont be able to base your new home on 100% scientific facts. Yes, we know there are certain types of weather that can make arthritis symptoms worse in some people, but ultimately, everyones triggers are differentwhich means there is no one climate that is best suited for every single person with arthritis.

However, if youre someone who notices that humidity causes your pain levels to worsen, for example, then living somewhere with a dry climate might benefit you. Or if youre someone who experiences worsening pain levels in colder weather, then a warmer area might be the better option. For most people, though, moving isnt always the most practical option, so managing symptoms during weather changes is the best way to find relief.

Does Weather Really Affect Our Experience Of Pain

How Weather Affects Pain – Arthritis, Temperature and Pressure

A new study finds that, for people living with arthritis and other conditions that cause chronic pain, a certain kind of weather increases pain.

When someone tells you that they can feel bad weather in their bones, they may well be right.

Scientists, many at the University of Manchester, in the United Kingdom, have released the findings of a new study that exposes a link between chronic pain and humid, windy days with low atmospheric pressure.

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Your Intuition About The Weather

While there arent definitive studies that show that weather changes cause arthritis pain, research does reveal there may be an association.2 For example, one study shows a connection between joint pain and daily average weather conditions.3 In another study, researchers asked over 700 people how the weather influenced their arthritis pain, and about 67 percent of survey respondents reported that the weather was indeed affecting their pain.4

Flare Types And Triggers

  • Predictable flares have a known trigger. For example, you decide to clean your house from top to bottom one day, overdo it and end up with swollen, stiff joints the next day. Overexertion, poor sleep, stress or an infection like the flu can all set off RA symptoms. With a predictable flare youll temporarily feel worse, but your symptoms will resolve in time.
  • Unpredictable flares have more uncertainty associated with them. These flares cause patients to feel worse, but did not have a trigger that was causing symptoms to get worse. These flares might not get better on their own.

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How To Stop Joint Pain When It Rains

There is no definitive answer to this question as there are many possible causes of joint pain when it rains. However, some possible suggestions for alleviating joint pain when it rains include staying indoors as much as possible, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear to protect the joints, and using heat or cold therapy to help relieve pain. Additionally, over-the-counter or prescription medications may be recommended by a doctor to help manage joint pain.

There are no exceptions, and its not uncommon for you to suffer from pain when the weather changes. Researchers reviewed data from 2,658 adults over the course of 15 months in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the majority of the study participants, the weather and chronic pain are related. As the air temperature rises, it is possible that joint pain will develop as a result of the increased humidity. A 2015 study examined 810 people with rheumatoid arthritis and found that they had a lower risk of death. Similarly, a cold can cause a significant increase in pain for susceptible individuals. You can reduce your joint pain if it is cold or rainy outside by using these strategies.

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