Does Weather Affect Your Arthritis?
Many people insist that they can tell when bad weather is coming because it makes their joints hurt. Usually people say that cold or rain makes their arthritic joints ache, but scientific evidence has been difficult to find because of the lack of unbiased reports and subjective nature of the condition.
A new study on arthritis and weather in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Medicine has finally found some scientific evidence to support the theory that changes in temperature or barometric pressure might influence arthritis pain. The researchers took a previous study of pain levels of people with osteoarthritis at specific points over three months and cross references those dates and locations with meteorological data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The data corroborated the assertion that weather affects joint pain, though scientists don’t know exactly why. Possible theories offered by the scientists are that the cold affects range of motion or the flow of synovial fluid in the joints.
Do you notice pain or a change in your arthritis when the weather changes? Cold doesn’t bother me at all, in fact, I prefer it. But the humidity of the summer really gets to me. Dry heat is ok, but I couldn’t ever live in really humid places like Florida or Louisiana. Give me Maine or Minnesota any day.
Christine Miller wrote about rheumatoid arthritis as a Patient Expert for HealthCentral. She was diagnosed at 16 months old with polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and has gone through the ebbs and flows of disease activity — many medications, much time spent in physical and occupational therapy, surgeries, and periods of relative remission.