The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Do Weather Changes Affect Arthritis

Christina Perez
• Monday, 11 January, 2021
• 7 min read

The two most common types are osteoarthritis (OA), caused by repetitive movements, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease. There is no cure for arthritis, but treatment can reduce inflammation and relieve pain and stiffness.

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Another study showed that each 10-degree temperature drop was linked with an incremental increase in pain. This drop in pressure may cause already inflamed tissue to expand, leading to increased pain.

Elaine Hung, a rheumatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says weather doesn’t cause arthritis or make it worse. People with OA or RA aren’t the only ones who link weather to increased arthritis pain.

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, warm weather may improve symptoms for some people with psoriasis arthritis. Although drier, warmer weather may result in less pain, it doesn’t affect the course of the disease.

People who have injured a joint or who are obese are at greater risk of developing OA. Heating pads and cold packs can be applied directly to affected joints to ease pain.

Regular stretching exercises can increase flexibility and strengthen supporting muscles. For example, there’s the longstanding belief that weather affects arthritis pain.

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Many of my patients notice a clear connection; some are so convinced of the link, they believe they can predict the weather better than the TV meteorologists. A recent study finds no connection between rainy weather and symptoms of back or joint pain.

For example, a 2014 study in Australia found no link between back pain and rain, temperature, humidity, or air pressure. But, found that among 200 patients followed for three months, knee pain increased modestly when temperature fell or barometric pressure rose.

And it’s something I’ve even heard in TV commercials about headache medicines: “I don’t care about the research. 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, it’s easy to conclude a link exists where, in fact, none does. Until I see evidence that’s even more compelling, I remain a skeptic about the weather / arthritis connection.

Maybe your grandmother knew a storm was coming when their knees started to hurt. That makes it tricky for scientists to pinpoint exactly what it is about the weather that leads some people to report more pain when it’s cold, rainy, or humid.

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Scientists have done many studies on joint pain and weather over the years, but so far, none can say for sure what the connection is. Part of the problem is the studies themselves -- many have used surveys of just a few people, which isn’t a very reliable way to measure a link.

One is that people with joint pain, especially arthritis, may be sensitive to changes in barometric pressure. Another idea: 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. People tend to stay indoors and lounge around more when it’s cold and rainy outside, and inactive joints can get stiff and painful.

Several studies have tried to pinpoint the kind of weather changes that affect joint pain, but the findings are all over the map. Continued In one survey of 200 people with osteoarthritis in their knee, researchers found that every 10-degree drop in temperature -- as well as low barometric pressure --corresponded to a rise in arthritis pain.

Another group of researchers took a look at medical records of more than 11 million Medicare visits and matched dates to local weather reports. But even though the science isn’t clear, flare-ups when the weather turns are very real for many people with joint pain.

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Many people say they find relief in warmer climates, but again, there’s no scientific proof that it will ease your aches. Make sure you take care of your health in general, like with good nutrition and getting enough sleep.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Melinda Rating, DO, MS on November 16, 2021 Michelle Eisenberg, DO, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Houston.

Acupuncture Guide How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain. “I can feel it in my bones,” a common saying used to describe an intuition or a hunch, is more than an idiom for those who suffer from joint pain.

So, although the anecdotal evidence is plentiful, are there actually scientific studies that can support the idea of an ArthritisWeather Index? Many arthritis sufferers firmly believe that their pain worsens prior to a change in the weather, which is an indication that it may be linked to barometric pressure.

One of the earliest official studies assessing the relationship between arthritis pain and weather conditions was performed in 1948, and although the results did show that patients in a climate chamber with a constant (warm) temperature and moderate humidity experienced less pain, the investigators didn’t actually control for changes in barometric pressure. Fast-forward to 1990, when one of the earliest attempts to study the link between barometric pressure and arthritis pain was performed.

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Rather than cramming thousands of patients into a barometric chamber, sardine style, most studies performed in recent years have compared self-reported arthritic pain with the corresponding data recorded from weather stations. One such study, published in 2007, matched pain data from 200 arthritis sufferers with temperature, humidity and pressure data from their local weather stations, and found that joint pain often worsened before a change in barometric pressure occurred.

Several other studies have reported similar findings, suggesting that there could well be a link between barometric pressure changes and arthritis pain. In an Australian study published in 2016, researchers assessed data from almost 350 individuals with knee osteoarthritis.

Researchers found no correlation between increased joint pain and weather parameters (including barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed, and humidity). Although, scientifically, the jury is still out on the link between arthritis and weather, the notion seems too widespread to simply be a coincidence.

Hopefully, further research can be performed to shed more light on the matter and improve arthritis sufferers’ ability to manage their pain. These are wrist, hand, neck, knee, back, and hip, while involving exercise and medication both.

The damp and cold weather affects people suffering from osteoarthritis, as climate may cause an increase in joint pain while changes take place in daily exercise schedules. According to statistics, approximately 68% of surveyed people have experienced mild to severe pain because of changes in weather.

Especially, many OA patients reported feeling the change in their pain before the occurrence of cold weather. On the other side, a few of the experts have highlighted that a change in atmospheric or barometric pressure is the prime reason related to increases in pain among osteoarthritis patients instead of rain, cold or snow.

Here, barometric pressure refers to the force exerted on any surface at any specific point by the atmospheric weight. During this phase, your regular medications fail to give relief from your symptoms or help to control your disease.

Hence, if your cartilage breaks down, it makes your joints vulnerable to suffer from flare-ups, as your bones rub together. In some cases, both cartilage and bone pieces lose and cause a relatively higher level of pain.

These include injuries related to physical exercise, stress, cold weather, repetitive movements, weight gain, infections and drop in atmospheric or barometric pressure. Major changes in osteoarthritis take place slowly in several years, but you will find a few exceptions.

Approximately 80% of old adults aging from 55 years to elderly ones have evidence related to osteoarthritis on X-rays. Other than this, old women have increased incidences related to knee osteoarthritis as compared to men.

To conclude, we should say that cold and damp weather might increase the pain and other related symptoms associated with the condition of osteoarthritis in large numbers of OA patients. Along with this, many people suffering from osteoarthritis experience large numbers of flare-ups to make the condition unbearable and uncomfortable.

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