I Will Definitely Use The Findings To Help Plan My Days And Manage My Symptoms
Nora also finds that exercise lowers her pain levels. This made me think more about how to help myself. For example, on long car journeys, I have devised an in-car-work-out doing leg, arm, neck and body exercises to keep my muscles from stiffening up but keeping the movements minimal so as to not distracting the driver.
Despite having both hips replaced and one knee replacement, Janet still relies on painkillers every day to manage the pain.
My symptoms are worse at night, particularly when I lay down on the bed, she says, I often spend half the night sleeping in my rise and recline chair because I cant cope with the pain.
Arthritis has stolen her ability to do the things she loves. Sadly, I can no longer go ballroom or line dancing, as the movements involved tend to put a lot of pressure on my joints. Despite this, Janet has found other ways to stay active and aims to perform machine assisted exercises at the gym three times a week.
I wanted to prove to myself that I wasnt imagining my symptoms. After recording how I felt each day, I could look back over previous weeks and months to see how the weather had affected my joints. If I know its going to be hot, I tend to avoid going outside and try to keep cool.Pain is my legacy. I saw my grandmother suffering and am frightened I may end up experiencing the same. But although pain is my environment, I am able to control it to some extent and therefore feel more in control of my arthritis.
How Does Air Pressure Affect Climate
Changes in air pressure could have a big effect on climate. Air pressure controls the atmospheres circulation, and therefore influences how moisture moves. Changes in circulation can alter rainfall, temperature, winds and storminess. These trends, and their impact on climate, could be stronger than we thought.
Do You Want To Know How To Permanently Prevent Joint Pains Due To Rain
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Are You Weather Sensitive
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.
Why Does My Body Hurt When Weather Changes
The bottom line is that there may not be definitive answers yet as to why the body hurts when weather changes, but that does not change the fact people experience more pain. It could be due to:p
- hot, humid sunny days or cold rainy days
- high or low barometric pressure
- alternatively, cold or hot weather.
Each person is different, but paying attention to the pattern makes it possible to anticipate the incremental pain level based on the weather. Maintain a journal to discover the pattern and develop a pain response plan that fits different weather scenarios.
Managing pain, including back pain, is about much more than taking pain relievers. It requires a proactive approach to minimize the risk of pain increasing.
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Should You Move To Florida Or Arizona
Its a question that doctors hear all the time from arthritis patients.
People with chronic pain, if they cant get out as much and its so cold all the time or rainy or snowy then they think, Boy, Id like to go some place where the weather isnt quite so dramatic, Jamison says of his patients in Boston.
Though he doesnt advise against moving to warmer climes, he does try to offer realistic expectations. Theres no heaven on earth, he says. If you have awful back or neck pain theres a good chance that that pain will travel with you.
In fact, in Jamisons research, people from San Diego reported the greatest sensitivity to weather changes a surprise finding, considering that it had the warmest climate, compared to Nashville and the two Massachusetts cities.
San Diegans in his study noticed pain even with small changes in weather. You think of San Diego and the temperature is always mild it never gets too cold or particularly too hot but with just a small change, people with pain still reported that they could detect it, Jamison says. I think as mammals, we kind of adjust to our climate.
So its not always helpful to believe that whole myth of, Go to Arizona when you live in the Northeast and somehow your pain will be a lot better, Jamison says. We know that if you ask people to rate their pain in Minnesota or Arizona or California or even Florida, theres no one area of the country where youd say, Theres less pain there.
The Effect Of Weather On Arthritis
The Cloudy with a Chance of Pain study, led by consultant rheumatologist Professor Will Dixon is the worlds first smartphone-based study to investigate how weather affects long-term health conditions including arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Thousands of people with differing health conditions across the UK, from Orkney to the Isles of Scilly, took part in the study over 15 months. Predominantly, participants were people living with arthritis.
Participants were asked to record their daily symptoms and other factors that affected their pain levels with an app on their smartphones, while GPS in their phones provided accurate weather reporting.
A sample of 2,658 people who recorded their experiences on most days for six months or more showed that people experienced greater discomfort on humid and windy days, whereas dry days were least likely to be painful.
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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.
Tips On Managing Weather
Regardless of what the studies show, your pain is unique to you. If you notice an increase in joint pain or stiffness during certain weather patterns, there are things you can do to find some relief. Your doctor may increase the dosage of your pain medication, but you can also try one of the following:
Everyone with arthritis is different. Some people are not affected by the weather at all while some experience a significant increase in pain. Unfortunately science doesnt yet have a lot of answers and its impossible to predict what type of weather changes will affect which people. If youve noticed that your symptoms worsen in specific types of weather, talk to your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you.
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How Does Cold Weather Affect Arthritis
We all know someone who could tell when a storm was coming. They are not the local weather persons on television, but they can just tell by how their knees, hands, back, shoulders, or other joints would start to ache.
When the weather turns chilly or rain is in the forecast, many people complain about joint pain. Stiffness and soreness are problems often associated with arthritis.
Best Places To Live With Arthritis
Based on the Rheumatic Disease Report Card, the best places to live with arthritis in the United States include:
- California: With a B rating on the access to care map, minimal humidity, and consistently warm weather, Southern California is a great place to live comfortably with rheumatoid arthritis
- Hawaii: People with arthritis may also thrive in Hawaiis less humid regions, such as the Kona side of the Big Island. Hawaii gets ample sun and warmth and has high-quality care access
- Virginia: Virginia has a B on the care rating scale. The weather there is more mild than that in the northern states, but not as humid as that in other southern states, making it a great place for people with arthritis to live
- Colorado: The dry climate of Colorado makes it suitable for people with arthritis. Southern and plains regions, which get less snow than the mountains, are best. Colorado also has great expert care access
Does Cold Weather Affect Arthritis
While there isnt a scientifically proven reason for why people often complain of arthritic pain during changing weather, there is something to be said about how weather affects our mood and our overall well-being. Arthritis and cold weather can cause your body to constrict.
This is because cold weather can cause blood to flow slower than when you are in warmer weather and more active. You use energy to keep your body warm and your joints are areas of the body that might be more inclined to be affected by lack of warmth.
Barometric pressure has been noted as a possible reason why people suffer from arthritis pain. When there is a change in atmospheric pressure, the tissues inside your body expand and that can trigger pain. Even a small change in barometric pressure can cause inflammation and pain.
What Does This Mean For People With Arthritis
We spoke to some of the people who took part in the study to find out what this research means to them.
Nora Boswell, 70, was diagnosed with osteoarthritis five years ago. She tells us why she decided to take part in the study and how shes now using the findings to help her plan her days and manage her symptoms.
She begins, I have knee arthritis and multiple aches and pains but couldnt really pin down what made them worse and the thought of continued deterioration was daunting.
Nora decided to take part in the Cloudy study as she thought it was an interesting and much more in-depth way of researching her causes of pain.
She found the Cloudy app easy to use and was impressed by the broad spectrum of influences it was able to track, saying it helped me to think properly about my day to day life.
The results helped her to discover that inactivity raises her pain levels and on the dull, damp and grey days, she finds it difficult to stay motivated. Nora says, forewarning of such weather will ensure I set strategies in place to keep myself active and, I hope, alleviate the effect of the weather to some extent.
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Does The Weather Affect Shoulder Arthritis Pain
Many patients and physicians believe that weather patterns affect arthritis pain. I myself believed this, having heard so many many of my shoulder arthritis patients complain that they hurt more when the weather changed. Some reported that they could tell if rain was coming based on the pain levels in their shoulder.
I was suprised when I stumbled on this old publication in a psychology journal which showed that weather is not correlated with arthritis pain. People have a tendency to think that it is becuase we often perceives relationships where none exist, which is a common phenomenon in decision analysis research.
I’ve attached the article for people to draw their own conclusions. Wether it is fact or fiction I do not know, but my shoulder arthritis patients throughout Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and the Outer Banks tell me it is real!
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Arthritis Pain Relief Tips For Winter Weather
Dress warmly, work out inside, and get enough vitamin D. These are some of the ways you can get arthritis pain relief despite the bone-chilling cold of winter weather.
Many people with arthritis swear by the pain in their joints as a predictor of rainy or cold weather. I used to hear people complain all the time that they knew rain was coming from the aching in their knees, says Pam Snow, 54, of Denver, who has arthritis. Now Im one of those people!
Snow has osteoarthritis in both knees. She typically manages her pain with exercise, diet, weight loss, and the occasional over-the-counter pain reliever, but when winter weather sets in, Snow faces an extra joint-pain challenge. I think its related to barometric pressure, she says. It definitely has made me more cognizant of the weather.
For Snow, arthritis isnt just a personal problem. As vice president for community involvement for the Colorado Arthritis Foundation, she travels the state educating others about the condition. So she’s aware that there’s very little scientific evidence to support her own experience, and that of the legions of others with arthritis who feel worse when the weather is frightful.
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Studies Look At Perception Vs Reality
In one study of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, participants were asked directly if weather affected their condition. And, perhaps not surprisingly, many said that yes, in fact, it does.
“A lot of people perceive weather as having an effect on their condition,” says Ruthberg. “Most of the time people will complain that colder weather or damper weather makes them feel worse than sunnier, warmer, drier weather.”
Since perception doesn’t necessarily equal reality, researchers have approached it from another angle and had people keep diaries about their pain or stiffness over a month or longer, then matched the reports up with official weather data.
“Some of them have shown some correlation, but it hasn’t been seen in every single study, and it has not been shown to be just a huge, huge factor,” Ruthberg says.
A 1960 study did lend some support to a weather connection. After University of Pennsylvania researcher Joseph Hollander monitored 12 arthritis patients in a climate-controlled chamber over several weeks, most, he said, felt worse when they were subjected to a combination of increased humidity and falling barometric pressure.
How Does Low Pressure Affect Weather
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 Does Air Pressure Affect Arthritis
Changes in barometric pressure can cause expansion and contraction of tendons, muscles, bones and scar tissues, resulting in pain in the tissues that are affected by arthritis. Low temperatures may also increase the thickness of joint fluids, making them stiffer and perhaps more sensitive to pain during movement.
Changes In Barometric Pressure
Changes in barometric pressure is one possibility. When air pressure drops, it usually leads to clouds and rain higher pressure areas are typically clear and calm. Shifts in air pressure may make your tendons, muscles, and any scar tissue expand and contract, leading to pain in the joints affected by arthritis.
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What The Research Reveals
A 2013 study published in Arthritis Care & Research involved 333 women with fibromyalgia. They had the women answer daily questions about their pain and fatigue, then compared them to meteorological data.
Researchers found a “significant but small” effect on pain or fatigue in five of the 50 different weather comparisons they performed. They also found significant but small and inconsistent differences between participants when it came to random effects of weather variables.
They concluded that there’s no uniform impact of weather on symptoms, but left open the possibility that weather could have an effect on some, saying:
“These findings do not rule out the possibility that weather-symptom relationships may exist for individual patients. Some patients may be more sensitive to weather or weather changes than other patients, and some patients may also be affected positively and other patients affected negatively by specific weather conditions.”
In fact, they say that they found roughly the same amount of positive associations as negative ones. A 2017 analysis of Twitter posts appears to confirm the findings against a standard influence of weather on fibromyalgia. Interestingly, they found what appeared to be regional differences in what weather factors bothered people.
For example, they say among the eight states with the most Twitter posts in the analysis, these six revealed no significant correlation between weather and symptoms: