Have you ever heard someone say “rain is coming, I can feel it in my bones.” For those with arthritis, it’s true – many really feel a connection with the weather.
There have been a wide variety of studies completed in regard to this connection and the results have been inconsistent, however.
What do we know
The Arthritis Foundation says “scientists don’t know for sure why changes in weather can make some people hurt, or why it affects some people more than others.”
One theory is that changes in barometric pressure can cause expansion and contraction of tendons, muscles, bones, and scar tissues. Barometric pressure is lower when temperatures are low, which causes an increased thickness of joint fluids, which may make them feel stiffer.
The role of physical activity
We know physical activity helps keep arthritis pain low. But on rainy or cold days many of us may stay inside relaxing. As a result of this decreased physical activity, that can cause arthritis pain as well.
This brings about an important argument of if the weather itself plays a role directly in arthritis pain, or if its relationship is indirectly impacted because of the weather.
Additionally, we know arthritis pain can be impacted by emotions. Bad weather can mean negative emotions for some people – thus another possible indirect cause.
What can you do about it?
Weather is one of those things we have very little control over. If the weather does become a big obstacle to your arthritis the only solution is to move to a climate with more favorable weather. Obviously, this is a drastic measure few will partake in.
Regardless, finding ways to be active inside during cold or rainy seasons can be a great way to keep your arthritis pain at bay.