Monday, March 27, 2023

Is High Humidity Bad For Arthritis

Does The Weather Really Affect Arthritis Pain

Harmful effects of humidity

In south Louisiana, we are well aware of the fact that the heat and humidity affects us physically. It makes us sweat more and, as many women will attest, can ruin your hairstyle. Can it also make arthritis pain worse? Many of us have had older relatives who claimed that they could predict when it was going to rain by a flare up of joint pain. Is it scientifically possible for the weather to affect joint pain, or are there other factors at play? And if the weather does affect joint pain, would moving to a better climate help?

Lets discuss the research on the relation between weather and joint pain, and whether moving will help you in the long run.

Does Heat And Humidity Make Joint Pain Worse

As we head into the Arizona monsoon season, you may be finding you have more trouble with joint pain.

Many people with arthritis find they have more stiffness and pain as the humidity rises and barometric pressure dropsas can happen before a monsoon storm. This may be because changes in temperature and humidity change the level of fluid in our joints.

In addition, the extreme Arizona heat alone can aggravate pain, simply by placing more stress on the body and making us more irritable and sensitive to discomfort.

Becoming dehydrated, which can happen quickly in the heat, can make things even worse because our joints need fluid to move smoothly.

What can you do to stay as comfortable as possible until things cool off? Try these tips.

If youre struggling with joint pain, the medical professionals at OrthoArizona can work with you to get back to enjoying the activities you love.

What To Do When Rain Causes Pain

While you cant avoid changing weather, you can take steps to prevent, ease or relieve weather-related joint pain. Dr. Bolash recommends:

Stay limber Stretching regularly and doing yoga are great ways to increase flexibility and maintain joint health. Building muscle may also help. The more muscle you use during physical activity, the better able those muscles are to support your joints.

Do water exercises Working out in a warm pool is especially good for loosening stiff muscles, strengthening joints, building muscle strength and easing discomfort. Water provides resistance while lifting the weight from aching joints.

Consider anti-inflammatory medication or treatments For patients with pain in a single joint such as the site of a former knee injury for example we might pursue steroid injection or other treatment, says Dr. Bolash.

Overall, maintaining mobility is the best way to fend off widespread joint pain without visiting your physician and thats true in any kind of weather, Dr. Bolash says.

Read Also: How To Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis Blood Test

How Humidity And Heat Affect Arthritis

Do humidity and heat affect rheumatoid arthritis? For some people living with this autoimmune disease, thereâs no question that hot weather triggers their flares and increases joint pain compared to the winter season.

But, in the medical community, the debate rages on. A British study in Nursing Times reviewed several research studies on how weather affects arthritis. The results were conflicting and didnât bring health professionals or arthritis patients any closer to understanding whether heat and humidity affects the condition.

What became a little clearer in this review is that how humidity and heat affect arthritis may not be the main issue. Instead, dynamic weathertransition from one weather state to anothermay have a bigger impact on this inflammatory disease.

The study cites research from 1985 showing evidence that a combination of weather conditions worsened arthritis symptomsin particular rising humidity and falling barometric pressure. It was noticeable that static weather patterns did not cause much change it was the transition that affected symptoms.

These findings were backed up by another study that indicated increased pain and swelling reported by patients with arthritis could be the result of a disparity in pressure between fluid within the joints and falling air pressure outside. Air pressure drops during stormy weather, which is more common in hot, humid weather.

Also Check: How To Treat Arthritis In Knee At Home

The Link Between Weather And Joint Pain

Can Cold Weather Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis

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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Does Research Matter When You Have Personal Experience

Thats a fair question. And its something Ive even heard in TV commercials about headache medicines: I dont care about the research. I just know what works for me. But its worth remembering that humans have a remarkable tendency to remember when two things occur or change together , but remember less when things do not occur together. That rainy day when you felt no better or worse is unlikely to be so notable that you remember it. If you rely solely on memory rather than on more rigorous, data-based evidence, its easy to conclude a link exists where, in fact, none does.

Chronic Pain Care In Houston: Minivasive Pain And Orthopedics

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Does Where I Live Matter

If damp cold weather exacerbates pain, you may wonder why not move to where the weather is milder, warmer or dryer? Some researchers say climate doesnt matter.

In the U.S. for example, where different regions have varied weather and climate types, one study found that even people in mild, moderate San Diego reported weather-related pain. In fact, they reported more pain than residents of the studys three colder U.S. cities: Nashville, Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts.

Chronic pain doesnt care where you live, says Dr. Bolash. Humidity and barometric pressure tends to change everywhere.

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Be Careful Of Dehydration If You Suffer From Joint Pain Back Pain Or Arthritis In Hot Humid Weather

How Humidity (Weather) is Causing Your Joints to Ache – Dr Alan Mandell, DC

In high humidity and heat, it can cause our blood to thicken which places increased pressure on blood vessels, forcing the heart to work harder. This is because we are losing more fluid through sweating from increased body temperature. Our bodies sweat because when it evaporates off our skin it cools us down. When it is humid , it is more difficult for the sweat to evaporate and in-turn its unable to cool us down.

So, if our bodies are not being cooled down from sweating, we continue to sweat. This can eventually lead to our bodies being depleted of fluid dehydration.

Joint cartilage and the discs in our spine have high water content, and dehydration can decrease the concentration of fluid, agitating any arthritis that may be present.

Ensure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day and evening to avoid dehydration and extra sensitivity within your joints.

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Low Indoor Humidity And Arthritis

Flare-ups do happen a lot and can trigger more when theres dry air, more so in a contained space. I usually hear from a lot of people, especially the boomers that the cold weather is not their best season.

At first, I thought the discomfort they feel was just because of the winter. The freezing weather actually prompts a lot of sicknesses such as allergies, flu, congestion, and more.

But, as I go through the relationship between humidity and arthritis, I learned that when there is minimal water vapor in the air, it has a higher barometric pressure. Therefore, the pressure on the joints causes further pain and distress.

The increased barometric pressure in a low indoor humidity environment causes arthritis pain. Safe to say, your dad could be right when predicting the weather by feeling his knees and joints.

Weather And Arthritis: Is There Really A Connection

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 20, 2022 â Itâs long been conventional wisdom that weather makes arthritis pain worse.

The issue has been studied through the years, with conflicting findings. But three recent studies found weather does have some impact, said Dr. Robert Shmerling, writing for the Harvard Health Blog.

In one study with 222 participants who had arthritis of the hip, researchers from The Netherlands found that patients reported slightly worse pain and stiffness as barometric pressure and humidity rose, but the weather effect was small.

Another study looked at weather-related symptoms among 800 European adults with arthritis of the hip, knee or hands. They reported increasing pain and stiffness with higher humidity, especially in cold weather. In general, changes in weather didnât affect their symptoms, though.

Participants of a third study reported their chronic pain symptoms. Most of the 2,600 individuals had some type of arthritis. This study found “modest relationships” between pain and higher humidity, lower atmospheric pressure and higher wind speed.

Past studies have looked at the impact of rain, humidity and rising or falling barometric pressure. Humidity, temperature, precipitation and barometric pressure may all be involved, Shmerling said.

Still, identifying a link may help with understanding the causes and mechanisms of arthritis symptoms, which could lead to better treatments or preventive strategies, Shmerling said.

More information

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Home Remedies To Soothe Arthritis And Chronic Joint Pain

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When suffering with arthritis, its important to listen to your bodys signs. Its also crucial to note that the seasons can actually have an effect on chronic joint pain, specifically humid weather. According to Harvard Medical Schools Harvard Health Publications, a recent study linked higher humidity with increased pain and stiffness. But why?

Higher levels of humidity during weather such as a monsoon can affect the body in many ways. For example humidity can thicken the blood, increasing the pressure in the blood vessels, which makes the heart work harder to move the blood throughout the body. When the barometric pressure drops during rainy or damp weather, tendons, ligaments and muscles expand. That expansion can cause joint paint suffers to experience irritation in already sensitive areas of the body. Sweating in intensely humid climates can be problematic as well because when there is a high level of moisture in the air, it is difficult for the air to absorb the skins moisture. This can lead to loss of body fluid and dehydration, which agitates arthritis. In extreme cases, dehydration can also lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Keeping the body hydrated is extremely important in any weather, but especially in humid climates. It is recommended that joint pain sufferers drink one or two eight-ounce glasses of water for every hour spent exposed to humid conditions to restore fluid levels and reduce water loss.

Are You Weather Sensitive

FLUKER

Some people are more sensitive to weather than others. So you may feel more stiff and achy in the cold more than your neighbor. That doesnt either of you is wrong, it just means that we dont perceive things the same.

A 2014 study of people with osteoarthritis published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders asked participants if and how weather influenced their pain. Of the 712 people who answered the survey, 469 said they were weather sensitive. It turns out that weather-sensitive people with OA experience more joint pain overall than their non-weather-sensitive counterparts.

A 2011 article published in European Journal of Pain found similar results in people with rheumatoid arthritis . The researchers looked at nine previously published studies of people with RA and concluded pain in some individuals is more affected by the weather than in others, and that patients react in different ways to the weather.

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Can A Dehumidifier Help Relieve Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

How effective a dehumidifier is at reducing your RA pain depends on your individual symptoms and the climate where you live.

If you notice that your RA symptoms or other forms of joint pain become worse during certain seasons, you may be sensitive to temperature and humidity shifts.

Talk with your doctor about your current RA treatment plan and make sure youre using appropriate medications and therapies. If youre still experiencing increased pain with temperature or humidity shifts, you may want to consider adding a dehumidifier to your home.

Depending on the size of your house and the humidity where you live, you may be able to place a dehumidifier in a central location to serve your entire home. If your home is larger or your humidity is particularly high, you may notice the best results by placing the unit in the room where you spend the most time.

Different dehumidifiers have different features, but many can be programmed to maintain a certain level of humidity in the air. Others can be set to continuously remove as much moisture from the air as possible each day.

Just keep in mind that if you dont have your machine draining constantly with a hose, your dehumidifier will stop running each time the collection basin becomes full. It will not run again until you empty the basin and restart the machine.

What Types Of Climates Are Best For Arthritis Sufferers

Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by joint pain that can go into remission, osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is ever present. Joints are swollen, stiff, and painful, easing perhaps with activity but chronic and progressive without treatment.

For most arthritis sufferers, the best places to live with arthritis have climates that are warm and dry. While it may sound like an old wives tale that a person can predict the rain with an ache in their knee, it could actually be accurate. Cold, damp climates cause the tissues in the body to expand. This expansion can place more pressure on the nerves in the joints, causing an increase in pain as a storm heads in.

People may be less likely to exercise when the weather outside is frightful, as well, and this can also lead to an increase in painful symptoms.

On the other hand, warm, dry climates with a relatively stable high barometric pressure may ease the stress on joints. This means that people with arthritis may have fewer painful episodes than those who live with dramatic, cold, and wet weather.

Recommended Reading: What Doctor Treats Arthritis In The Knee

Alternative Treatment Laser Pain Therapy

Laser pain therapy is a proven way to get rid of joint pain and stiffness in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis in humid weather. You can take a few sessions of this modern therapy in humid weather to ease pain and move your joints freely.

A safe laser beam is directed to your aching joints by a rheumatologist. This stimulates a natural healing mechanism in the body and makes your joints pain-free. The treatment includes various sessions.

If youre in Pakistan and looking for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis through laser therapy then head to our modern pain management clinicBioFlex Pakistan. Youll get the maximum benefit from this treatment as we have:

  • Advanced laser devices

Does High Humidity Make Arthritis Pain Worse

Light exercise helps manage arthritis pain during monsoon

More joint pain and more stiffness in higher humidity conditions are common complaints among not just arthritis sufferers but also others. Although there are no solid facts from the arthritis foundation, the American college and American journal suggest that more research is being carried out on those under arthritis care to learn if there is a connection between temperature and barometric pressure changes and arthritis symptoms.

People with arthritis are of different kinds and so is the condition of their increasing pain. However, unanimously all arthritis sufferers aggress that weather changes affect symptoms. When the weather affects arthritis patients, they confirm they notice increased pain and stiffness in joint symptoms, joints feel swollen and stiff, especially in the joint pain in the hands and fingers.

Patients with hip osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis pain, psoriatic arthritis symptoms, etc., all agree that as the humidity rises and the humid conditions of the climate change, they experience more pain than how they feel in their local weather conditions.

Also Check: How To Help Arthritis In Your Neck

Is Cbd Oil Good For Arthritis

More research is being carried out into studying the effectiveness of CBD oil for chronic joint pain. However, this has been proved only in animal studies. There is no concrete study done on humans to prove that changes in barometric pressure increase inflammation and swelling in joints, which can be managed with CBD oil.

Managing Arthritis In Summer

Arthritis is no fun, but you have to find a way to reduce your symptoms and keep living life — theres simply no other choice. One way you can help to control your symptoms is by understanding how things outside of your control can make arthritis pain worse and then take steps to help yourself. For many people, arthritis symptoms seem to get worse in the summer and theres a good reason for that. Heres what you need to know about arthritis pain in the hot summer months and what you can do to help alleviate it.

What Happens in Summer

If your arthritis seems to flare up in summer, then you can place the blame squarely on the hot, humid weather. In fact, the hotter it is outside, the more your body will be prone to swelling. The more prone to swelling you are, the more pain from arthritis youll be in.

Barometric pressure also has some impact. The pressure changes outside can trigger receptors in the joints to be more sensitive to pain. When the pressure changes occur, your joints will often feel tighter and stiff. Plus, your ligaments, muscles, and tendons can expand when the barometric pressure drops, such as right before a storm, which can irritate joints that are already sensitive.

Hydration and Heat

There are some studies that suggest changes in temperature also cause changes in the levels of fluid in your body, reducing lubrication of your joints and increasing pain and inflammation.

What You Can Do

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