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Arthritis and Weather Pain

In this article, we'll look at such a health condition as weather arthritis: what it is, what causes the weather arthritis, who is susceptible to it, how to treat it, and how to relieve arthritic pain when it catches up with you.
CONTENT:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is weather arthritis pain?
  3. Symptoms of weather arthritis pain
  4. Causes of weather arthritis pain
  5. Arthritis pains and weather research
  6. Treatment and what helps with weather arthritis
  7. Prevention of weather arthritis

Arthritis Weather Pain Questions & Answers:

  • Does hot/cold weather or rain affect arthritis?
  • Does barometric pressure affect arthritis?
  • Does humidity affect arthritis?
  • How to deal with weather arthritis pain?
  • Is it possible to die from arthritis?

Introduction

Since antiquity it has been believed that weather conditions affect the well-being of people with arthritis.

It's possible to be true, because in 2014, german professors Erik J Timmermans, Richard Pete, Suzan van der Pas, and others issued scientific research results:

The majority of participants with OA (67.2%) perceived the weather as affecting their pain

Is there really a connection between arthritis and the weather? That's the question we're going to get to the bottom of today, so, let's dive into it!

What is weather arthritis pain?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PreventionTrusted Source, around 60 million adults (1 in 4 adults) in the United States and 350+ million globally have some form of arthritis.
Definition
Arthritis Pain – is an inflammatory process affecting the joint area, which is most often accompanied by a particular pathology but can also exist in isolation
Some weather-dependent people can have worsening arthritic pains during weather changes (also called rain pains), causing pain, discomfort, or, in acute cases, can progress to more dangerous forms and stages.

The disease develops gradually and imperceptibly. A person may feel well and lead a daily life, but his body already has antibodies that cause damage to the human’s own tissues.

When these antibodies accumulate in large numbers, they begin their destructive activity - attacking the joints and causing inflammatory reactions. The affected joints gradually become deformed and cannot function properly. Any part of the body can be affected by arthritis: elbows, shoulders, knees and even jaw joints.

Causes of weather arthritis pain

Arthritis is one of the oldest diseases on earth and is an inflammatory disease of the joints, the cause of which can be various:

  • infection;
  • hypothermia;
  • stress;
  • body dysfunction;
  • excessive physical activity;
  • consequences of trauma.

Joint discomfort in bad weather is connected with fluctuations in atmospheric pressure, which leads to a change in the tone of the blood vessels that supply the joint. This, in turn, can cause changes in the production of synovial fluid in the joint capsule and, therefore, in the pressure there.

When the pressure in the joint capsule changes, the pain receptors are irritated, which is manifested by pain. This sequence of changes is typical for an injured joint, as healthy tissue does not respond to changes in the weather.

When a person is weather-sensitive, his or her body cannot adapt to the changed atmospheric pressure in time. When it is cloudy or raining outside, it means that the atmospheric pressure has decreased; and if the pressure in the joint capsules does not decrease, their internal pressure begins to overstretch the joint walls, which causes painful sensations.

Symptoms of Weather Arthritis Pain

You can try to find out if you have symptoms of arthritis yourself.

  • Joint pain and swelling. This is especially noticeable in symmetrical joints such as the wrists. However, this is not always the case. Doctors used to say that you should seek help if you find three or more problematic joints, but now even one is enough.
  • Morning stiffness. If you have difficulty moving after sleeping and it takes 30-60 minutes to get up and go, this may be a warning sign.
  • The squeezing of hands and feet symptom. This is a kind of test. You have to squeeze your left hand with your right hand and then vice versa. Then squeeze your feet one by one. If the limb hurts when you squeeze, the test is positive.
Also, even viral infections, stress, serious colds, and hormonal changes in the female body (pregnancy, childbirth, menopause) can provoke the disease. Heredity also matters. However, the true cause of rheumatoid arthritis has not yet been identified anywhere in the world.
If you notice at least one of these symptoms, you should visit a therapist, who will refer the patient to a rheumatologist to clarify the diagnosis

Who is Susceptible to Weather Arthritis?

Here is the list of people, who is more susceptible to weather arthritis:

  • Women suffer from this disease five times more often than men.
  • Arthritis pain most often affects people between the ages of 30 and 50.
  • People with an improper diet with a deficit of minerals and trace elements which are involved in the "construction" of cartilage and articular surfaces.
  • People with excessive body weight. This is harmful to the joints because it creates an excessive strain on them.
  • People with a sedentary lifestyle, as well as people with excessive physical activity. It can contribute to joint damage (for professional athletes).
Wearing poor-quality or deformed shoes is also an important factor because the incorrect load distribution on the joints while walking leads to cartilage damage.

Barometric Pressure and Arthritis

Barometric pressure can cause arthritis pain: when the barometric pressure changes, people may feel pain in their joints. Such pain is caused by the fact that the joint affected by arthritis has difficulty adapting to weather changes. The pain occurs inside the joint capsule with synovial fluid. This pain may increase with sudden changes in barometric pressure. The vessels and nerves of the joints also react to these changes in pressure.

Read more: "Barometric Pressure Pain: how the weather can affect health"

When the barometric pressure drops, hypoxia occurs in the blood vessels. This reduces oxygen levels in the brain, leading to dizziness, nausea, palpitations and headaches.

Humidity and Arthritis

Humidity as a weather factor can affect arthritis people. So, with a slight change in humidity (even by 10%), the bone structure of a person is transformed to adapt to such changes. In places of bruises, sprains, and fractures, the structure of tissue and bone changes after an injury and it is more difficult for them to adapt, which causes arthritic pain before the rain, snow, or simply an increase in humidity.

Treatment of Weather Arthritis

Arthritis is chronic disease, and rheumatology specialists, unfortunately, never talk about a complete and permanent cure. But it is possible to achieve a stable remission (quiescence of the disease).

In order to make a correct diagnosis and prescribe a proper therapy, the doctor should determine the cause that has led to the development of arthritis. A rheumatologist makes the diagnosis using laboratory and instrumental methods of examination, as well as on the basis of the patient's medical history.

For a complex diagnosis, the patient should visit such doctors as a rheumatologist, a traumatologist and a therapist.

How to Deal or What Helps with Weather Arthritis Pain

The day the weather changes reduce the physical activity to a minimum. If you can't avoid strain use a kneepad but never a bandage. An uneven bandage can cause thrombosis.

On the day when the weather changes and the pain feels, do not make heat compresses, and do not use gels, ointments, warming, and pepper patches. All this leads to increased swelling and, as a consequence, increased pain. In the worst case, you can also get a skin burn.

To reduce arthritis pain and prevent further progression of the disease, it is necessary to eliminate the factors that destroy cartilage tissue:

  • visit therapist (sorry for repeating);
  • control body weight;
  • practice balanced physical activity and sports under the guidance of certified specialists:
  • high-quality shoes and comfortable wear.

Prevention of Weather Arthritis

There are several methods that can help relieve possible arthritis pain and definitely will not do any harm to the body.

  • Moderate physical activity. Exercises should be chosen after identifying the pain areas in your body and analyzing your current level of fitness not to overload the body. In any case, it is better to consult a specialist, who will select the optimal exercises for you. Swimming is ideal.
  • Walking is recommended by many experts for people with joint diseases. Find yourself a group for walking, find new routes and make your own plans for the day, week or month. It is very important to choose comfortable shoes which don’t constrict and hurt.
  • It sounds unusual, but in order to reduce arthritis pain, you should lose weight. This only applies to people who are clearly overweight. After all, such strain wears out the joints even faster.
  • To get rid of the constant pain, you need to stop eating sugar. People with arthritis should refrain from consuming preservatives, gluten, sugary carbonated drinks and desserts with high sugar content. It is also important to eliminate alcohol from the diet, as it provokes inflammation.
  • It is recommended to keep the temperature in the house at 18 degrees Celsius (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher in winter. Choose home clothing that completely covers your body.

Arthritis Weather Pains Q&A

Question:
Does hot/cold weather or rain affect arthritis?
Answer:
Some weather factors can indeed affect a person's well-being. For example, cold air can provoke an asthma attack, and changes in atmospheric pressure can raise or lower blood pressure. Because of this, the organs, bones and fluids in our body shrink or expand; and if there are diseases in the body, there can be difficulties in adaptation, which causes pain, including arthritis pain.
Question:
Does barometric pressure affect arthritis?
Answer:
Barometric pressure can cause arthritis pain: when the barometric pressure changes, people may feel pain in their joints. Such pain is caused by the fact that the joint affected by arthritis has difficulty adapting to weather changes. The pain occurs inside the joint capsule with synovial fluid. This pain may increase with sudden changes in barometric pressure. The vessels and nerves of the joints also react to these changes in pressure.
Question:
How to deal with weather arthritis pain?
Answer:
In order to make a correct diagnosis and prescribe a proper therapy, the doctor should determine the cause that has led to the development of arthritis. For a complex diagnosis, the patient should visit such doctors as a rheumatologist, a traumatologist and a therapist.
Question:
Is it possible to die from arthritis?
Answer:
It would be misleading to think that this disease, though painful, is not fatal. In fact, people die from it. Arthritis leads to what is called latent mortality - rheumatoid heart disease leads to fatal heart failure.

Arthritis and Weather Research

An article on the effect of atmospheric pressure on arthritis was published in the Proceedings of the Western Pharmacology Society in 2004. In that study 92 patients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis were compared with a control group of 42 people. The authors concluded that patients with osteoarthritis had increased joint pain at low atmospheric pressure, while low temperatures increased the risk of joint pain in the group of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Another study published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2004 demonstrated that high humidity is unfavorable for patients with arthritis. Based on these two studies only, it might seem that a place with higher atmospheric pressure and lower humidity is a favorable environment for people with arthritis.

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