Why Does Arthritis Hurt When It Rains?
Arthritis is a common ailment effecting more than 50 million adults, and is the leading cause of disability in America. There are different types of arthritis like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, but essentially arthritis represents joint pain and joint inflammation. Symptoms of arthritis include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion, and will come and go. The progression of symptoms is what begins to make daily activities like climbing stairs more difficult, and may eventually lead to permanent joint changes. But why does the weather affect arthritis and joint pain?
Why do Joints Hurt When It Rains?
Many people will say they can feel a rainstorm coming, or they feel it in their bones, but what kind of effect does rain actually have on the joints pain? There are changes in the air before a rainstorm hits, and that change is a drop in air pressure. The pressure drop might cause tissue that is already inflamed, like that in an arthritic joint, to expand and cause pain to flare up. Though this won’t progress the arthritis further and make it worse, it will cause the pain to come and go.
Barometric Pressure and Pain
Weather affecting joints seems to be evidenced by people’s testimonials, but through the many studies scientists have done it’s not an exact science on why weather causes pain flare ups exactly. Your body may be sensing the changes in barometric pressure and the nerves within joints respond to the pressure, or in rainy weather people don’t move around outside as much as usual and the joints become stiff and sore.
What Kind of Weather Effects Joints?
Air pressure is one aspect of weather, but there’s also humidity, precipitation and temperature that factors in when it comes to joint pain. Some people report pain when it’s cold, or humid. The problem is people experience pain in weather uniquely, as some people feel more pain with every 10 degree drop in temperature and pressure, and some people’s pain gets worse with higher pressure and humidity. There’s no conclusive proof of what type of weather causes pain for who, but the fact is people feel pain during certain types of weather patterns and they need pain relief.
Bones Ache in Cold Weather
Cold weather might affect joints because the fluid that lubricates joints might start slowing and stiffening, causing more pain during movement. The best way to combat any cold related joint pain is keeping warm and exercise with low impact routines like swimming or yoga. Stretching is also another way to try and warm up the muscles, as well as staying hydrated. You can also talk to your doctor about anti-inflammatory medications or some kind of anti-inflammatory joint injection.
Treating Arthritis and Arthritic Flare Ups
You can apply heat or cold packs to the flare up area to provide local relief and ease immediate pain. Your doctor may put you on an exercise regiment that will improve strength and range of motion as well. Nutrition and good sleep are essential parts of comprehensive health, so of course they will have an impact on arthritis flare ups. A healthy weight will also put less pressure on your joint as you move around, and have a positive benefit to arthritic pain.