Is there a relationship between weather and arthritis pain? Many think so! The relationship between arthritis symptoms and weather has long been studied and discussed. While there is some research to support the arthritis-weather connection, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support a link! Most people who believe their arthritis pain is affected by weather say they feel more pain in cool, wet weather than warm, dry weather.
How does weather impact joint pain?
Temperature changes and humidity of any kind can influence how tissues within a joint expand and contract. It can dictate how much fluid builds up. These changes trigger pain. This means that any damp, rainy, humid, extremely hot, or chillingly cold weather can all bring about changes in your joints, resulting in an increase in pain.
How can you mitigate arthritis pain during weather changes?
Below you will find a list of expert recommended tips to help beat joint pain when it flares up due to weather.
Drink plenty of fluids: Water is best, but non-caffeinated beverages with electrolytes like sports drinks are great too. Our joints need lubrication. We can help them by drinking fluids every day.
Choose weather appropriate clothing: Keeping your body comfortable keeps your joints happy. Avoid wearing restrictive clothes that make it harder for you to move freely. In summer, clothes made of cotton tend to allow body heat to leave, keeping you cooler. On particularly cold or rainy days, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and jackets to keep your body dry and warm.
Stretch: Your joints will thank you for taking time every day to stretch. Stretching will allow more fluid to reach your inflamed joints as well as build muscle.
Head indoors: While the weather outside is uncontrollable, inside you can create a comfortable, temperature-controlled environment using your air conditioner. On particularly humid, cold, or painful days, staying indoors may be the best way to relieve joint irritation.
These strategies will help you stay active throughout the year, no matter the weather. If pain does show up, be sure to elevate and ice any areas that are particularly painful If pain persists, the doctors at Performance Orthopedics are here to help. Take the pain out of the weather and have a plan to manage your arthritis pain.