Osteoarthritis pain and weather (2022)

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Volume 42 Issue 8

August 2003

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F. V. Wilder,

F. V. Wilder

The Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc., Clearwater, Florida, USA

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B. J. Hall,

B. J. Hall

The Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc., Clearwater, Florida, USA

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J. P. Barrett

J. P. Barrett

The Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc., Clearwater, Florida, USA

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Rheumatology, Volume 42, Issue 8, August 2003, Pages 955–958, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keg264

Published:

01 August 2003

Article history

Received:

26 August 2002

Accepted:

03 January 2003

Published:

01 August 2003

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    F. V. Wilder, B. J. Hall, J. P. Barrett, Osteoarthritis pain and weather, Rheumatology, Volume 42, Issue 8, August 2003, Pages 955–958, https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keg264

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(Video) Dr. Stephen Duncan answers a common question about cold weather and arthritis pain

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the association between weather (barometric pressure, precipitation and temperature) and pain among individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) (n=154) at the following sites: neck, hand, shoulder, knee and foot.

Methods. This prospective study evaluated men and women, aged 49–90 yr, participating in a community‐based, osteoarthritis exercise study (June 1998–January 2002). Weekly self‐reported pain scores were collected using a visual analogue scale. Statistical tests, including regression and correlation analyses, were conducted. P values < 0.001 were considered significant.

Results. The total number of pain recordings varied by site, ranging from 2269 (feet) to 6061 (hands). The mean temperature was 23°C with a low of 0°C and a high of 36°C. Precipitation levels ranged from 0.00–21.08 cm, with a mean of 0.36 cm. Most associations explored produced non‐significant findings. However, among women with hand OA, higher pain was significantly associated with days of rising barometric pressure (P < 0.001).

Conclusion. Among a population of exercisers aged 49 yr and older, overall these findings did not support the hypothesis that weather is associated with pain. While some associations were suggestive of a relationship, largely these findings indicate that weather is quite modestly, if at all, associated with pain from OA.

Osteoarthritis, Pain, Weather.

Among individuals with arthritis, in spite of increasingly sophisticated epidemiological methods, the purported association between weather and pain largely remains an enigma. A combination of meteorological factors having an adverse effect on the pain of arthritis has been suspected [1–3]. Efforts to differentiate anecdotal suspicions from scientific evidence have led researchers to study perceived weather sensitivity in patients with arthritis, producing directly conflicting results [4, 5]. A 1997 study examining the weather–pain relationship among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients suggested that future studies evaluate the effects of weather on other types of arthritis [4]. Among a group of 154 radiologically confirmed osteoarthritis (OA) patients, we evaluated the hypothesis that selected weather indices have no effect on OA pain.

Materials and methods

The study exposure was a given weather condition and the study outcome was self‐reported pain level. Climatological data including temperature readings in Celsius (mean, minimum and maximum), barometric pressure (mmHg) and precipitation (cm) were obtained from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [6]. Pain was evaluated at the cervical spine, hand, shoulder, knee and foot joints. A subjective phenomenon, pain perception in one joint may contribute to pain perception in other joints. Thus, for each participant, aggregate pain scores for all joints combined were also evaluated. Data collected from the Clearwater Exercise Study (CES) were analysed. Initiated by the Arthritis Research Institute of America, Inc., the CES is a community‐based study located in Clearwater, Florida investigating the efficacy of exercise among individuals with OA. The relationship that weather may share with pain was a secondary CES hypothesis. CES inclusion criteria consisted of men and women aged 40 yr or older with radiological evidence of OA, grades 2+, as defined by the Kellgren and Lawrence criteria [7]. Blinded to the current hypothesis, all CES participants were included in our study. Ranging from 49–90 yr, the mean baseline age was 72 yr, with females comprising 71% of the participants. Although the CES minimum inclusion age was 40 yr, the youngest participant was 49 yr.

Conducted from June 1998 to January 2002, follow‐up times ranged from 19 to 23 months. Hand OA was defined by disease in one or more of the joint subgroups (right and left second distal interphalangeal, third proximal interphalangeal or first carpometacarpal). Diagnosis of foot OA was defined by disease at either of the first metatarsophalangeal joints. A visual analogue scale measured pain severity, where 0=no pain and 10=severe pain. Prior to exercising, participants recorded their pain scores weekly. Individuals with OA at multiple sites were included in analyses for the respective sites. Owing to the sparseness of published literature regarding weather and OA pain, these data were analysed collectively and also stratified by gender.

Spearman correlation coefficients [8] assessed the relationship between pain and the continuous, absolute values of temperature, barometric pressure and precipitation. A time‐series analysis explored the weather's predictive ability on pain using 1‐day lagging and leading weather parameters. The average daily pain levels for all participants combined were calculated. Pain scores were analysed with weather conditions noted 1 day prior to the score (1‐day lagging) and 1 day after the score (1‐day leading). For the correlation analyses each point represented a date, testing the null hypothesis that the correlation between a weather index and pain was zero. Regression analyses were used to assess the individuals' relationships between pain and barometric pressure status and direction, as well as precipitation status. This statistical approach accommodated our ordinal response variable, use of repeated measurements and the ability to control for potential confounding by using the generalized estimating equation method [9].

Models testing barometric pressure direction as a predictor of pain from OA were adjusted for the absolute value of barometric pressure. PROC GENMOD in SAS [10] software was used. Power calculations for the correlation analyses indicated this study had over 80% power to detect a rho of 0.25 or higher, if one existed (α=0.05; two‐tailed) [11]. Power analyses for the regression models with an ordinal dependent variable using repeated measures were estimated by calculating figures based upon a simpler statistical approach [11]. Calculations appropriate for a t‐statistic noted the study had over 80% power to detect a 30% or greater difference between the groups, if one existed (α=0.05; two‐tailed). Since multiple comparisons were made, an a priori alpha rejection level was set at 0.001 [12].

Results

The total number of pain recordings varied by site, ranging from 2269 (feet) to 6061 (hands). For all five sites, pain levels assumed values from 0–10, with mean scores spanning from 1.2–2.5 and corresponding standard deviations ranging from 2.1–2.7. The mean temperature was 23°C with a low of 0°C and a high of 36°C. Precipitation levels ranged from 0.00–21.08 cm, with a mean of 0.36 cm. Barometric pressure direction (rising, falling and steady) was analysed with the corresponding days' pain scores. Women demonstrated significant unadjusted associations with hand, foot and aggregate (all five sites combined) pain on days of rising barometric pressure (P < 0.0009, < 0.001, < 0.0001, respectively). After controlling for the influence of the absolute value of barometric pressure, only hand pain retained statistical significance with days of rising barometric pressure (P < 0.001). Likewise, women showed a negative association between hand (P < 0.0009), foot (P < 0.0001) and aggregate (P < 0.0001) pain on days of falling barometric pressure. For the three sites, however, adjusted estimates produced non‐significant associations with days of falling barometric pressure (P=0.53, 0.31, and 0.97, respectively). Men displayed no association with pain during days of rising nor falling barometric pressure, with adjusted P values ranging from 0.28–0.95. Among both females and males, days of steady barometric pressure revealed no significant relationship with the corresponding days' OA pain recordings.

Second, the relationship between OA pain and barometric pressure on days when the barometric pressure direction had been the same for 3 consecutive days was evaluated. For example, when the barometric pressure had been rising on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Friday's pain score was assessed for a relationship with barometric pressure direction. Consecutive days of rising barometric pressure indicated a significant relationship with the aggregate pain level (P < 0.0008). Subsequent adjustment for the barometric pressure absolute value suggested no association (P=0.68). Consecutive days of falling barometric pressure indicated no predictive ability on OA pain with adjusted P values ranging from 0.43–0.99. Similarly, consecutive days of steady barometric pressure exhibited no association with pain, producing P values ranging from 0.48–0.95.

Our third approach examined the relationship between pain and a recent change in barometric pressure direction. Three‐day time periods were evaluated. Aggregate pain was associated with days of falling barometric pressure that were preceded by two consecutive days of steady barometric pressure (P < 0.001). However, this relationship did not retain statistical significance after adjustment (P=0.60). Days of rising barometric pressure preceded by 2 days of steady pressure showed no association with pain. The following patterns of barometric pressure direction were also tested, all suggesting no predictive ability for pain from OA at any of the five sites (P values ranging from 0.33–0.99): falling preceded by 2 days of rising, rising preceded by 2 days of falling and steady preceded by 2 days of rising.

Precipitation status, analysed with the corresponding days' pain scores, indicated no association as indicated by P values ranging from 0.02–0.71. Our sample data, limited by the lack of consecutive days of precipitation, focused on the effect of no precipitation. Non‐significant findings were noted for the relationship between OA pain and 3 consecutive days of no rain.

Lastly, site‐specific correlation analyses of aggregate mean pain scores with the weather indices produced rho values ranging from −0.07 to +0.15 (Table 1). Largely, no discernable patterns were noted. A significant, albeit modest, association was reflected between 1‐day lagged precipitation and OA foot pain (rho=0.15; P < 0.001).

Table 1.

Meteorological indices' association with site‐specific OA pain (Spearman correlation coefficients)

Weather indexNeckHandShoulderKneeFootAggregatea
Mean temperature0.070.010.020.060.120.08
Minimum temperature0.070.020.010.070.130.07
Maximum temperature0.070.010.040.050.100.08
Mean temperature 1‐day lagging0.050.000.020.060.110.07
Mean temperature 1‐day leading0.060.000.020.050.120.07
Barometric pressure0.070.030.080.040.060.02
Barometric pressure 1‐day lagging0.050.040.020.060.010.04
Barometric pressure 1‐day leading0.050.140.070.070.000.10
Precipitation level0.070.080.100.000.030.06
Precipitation level 1‐day lagging0.040.000.070.010.15*0.00
Precipitation level 1‐day leading0.010.010.020.020.030.02
Weather indexNeckHandShoulderKneeFootAggregatea
Mean temperature0.070.010.020.060.120.08
Minimum temperature0.070.020.010.070.130.07
Maximum temperature0.070.010.040.050.100.08
Mean temperature 1‐day lagging0.050.000.020.060.110.07
Mean temperature 1‐day leading0.060.000.020.050.120.07
Barometric pressure0.070.030.080.040.060.02
Barometric pressure 1‐day lagging0.050.040.020.060.010.04
Barometric pressure 1‐day leading0.050.140.070.070.000.10
Precipitation level0.070.080.100.000.030.06
Precipitation level 1‐day lagging0.040.000.070.010.15*0.00
Precipitation level 1‐day leading0.010.010.020.020.030.02

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Table 1.

Meteorological indices' association with site‐specific OA pain (Spearman correlation coefficients)

Weather indexNeckHandShoulderKneeFootAggregatea
Mean temperature0.070.010.020.060.120.08
Minimum temperature0.070.020.010.070.130.07
Maximum temperature0.070.010.040.050.100.08
Mean temperature 1‐day lagging0.050.000.020.060.110.07
Mean temperature 1‐day leading0.060.000.020.050.120.07
Barometric pressure0.070.030.080.040.060.02
Barometric pressure 1‐day lagging0.050.040.020.060.010.04
Barometric pressure 1‐day leading0.050.140.070.070.000.10
Precipitation level0.070.080.100.000.030.06
Precipitation level 1‐day lagging0.040.000.070.010.15*0.00
Precipitation level 1‐day leading0.010.010.020.020.030.02
Weather indexNeckHandShoulderKneeFootAggregatea
Mean temperature0.070.010.020.060.120.08
Minimum temperature0.070.020.010.070.130.07
Maximum temperature0.070.010.040.050.100.08
Mean temperature 1‐day lagging0.050.000.020.060.110.07
Mean temperature 1‐day leading0.060.000.020.050.120.07
Barometric pressure0.070.030.080.040.060.02
Barometric pressure 1‐day lagging0.050.040.020.060.010.04
Barometric pressure 1‐day leading0.050.140.070.070.000.10
Precipitation level0.070.080.100.000.030.06
Precipitation level 1‐day lagging0.040.000.070.010.15*0.00
Precipitation level 1‐day leading0.010.010.020.020.030.02

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Discussion

Three weather conditions were examined for an association with OA‐related pain at five body sites, as well as with individuals' aggregate pain scores. Among a population of exercisers aged 49 yr and older, overall these findings did not support the hypothesis that weather is associated with pain from OA. While some associations were suggestive of a relationship, largely these findings indicate that weather is quite modestly, if at all, associated with pain level among individuals with OA. To a large degree, these findings suggest that women experience an enhanced relationship between pain and weather compared with their male counterparts. Various approaches were used to evaluate the relationship between OA pain and weather. Numerous unadjusted relationships were highly statistically significant. For analyses testing barometric pressure direction, consideration of the absolute value of barometric pressure produced dramatically different results. After adjustment, only one test achieved statistical significance. Among women with hand OA, days of rising barometric pressure suggested higher pain levels (P < 0.001). Precipitation contributed little to the explanation of the weather–pain relationship. However, our ability to demonstrate this may have been restricted owing to the fewer number of days with precipitation.

Past attempts to summarize the weather's influence on pain from arthritis have generated equivocal conclusions. Results from this investigation are consistent with previously published findings [4, 13–16], yet contradictory to other published results [5, 17–23]. Although previous studies have examined populations living in cold environments [13–16, 18, 19, 24–26], several studies have assessed this relationship in warmer climates without extreme variations in temperature [17, 21, 27]. A 1995 study summarized this relationship in four US cites selected for their differing climates [27]. Chronic pain patients living in San Diego (a warm and wet climate) showed the most sensitivity to seasonal changes notwithstanding greater temperature stability than existed in the other climates studied. Studying a group of OA patients in Florida has contributed to our knowledge by examining this relationship in a warm environment.

Four factors that could have influenced our results are worthy of mention. Participants were feeling well enough to carry out their exercise routine, possibly producing overall lower pain scores. Although one related study noted the exclusion of pain data owing to an ‘excess of physical activity’ [17], we suggest that the associations reported within may have been underestimated based on the activity level of our study sample. We do not want to dismiss the potential influence of the exposure to exercise. However, if regular exercise diminishes the effect of weather on pain from OA, the associations reported within may have a more pronounced effect on non‐exercising OA populations. Second, a potentially mitigating factor, inconsistencies in an individual's medication usage could contribute to a portion of the variation in pain level. The current study was limited by the inability to track changes in an individual's use of pain‐relieving drugs. While the vast majority of related articles have not addressed medication usage, a few have mentioned this [4, 17, 26]. Third, although we experienced temperature variation during the study period, there were relatively fewer days experiencing cold weather. Approximately 19% of the dates recorded temperatures <19°C. This may have contributed to finding no association in the correlation analyses. Lastly, it is clear that the plethora of issues involved produces a convoluted web of factors for simultaneous consideration when examining this relationship. As with previous related studies, our inability to hold constant the multitude of extraneous factors potentially influencing this relationship could have prevented this study from finding a clear association (Table 2).

The current study hopes to augment the existing literature through the following three areas. This study reported the weather–pain relationship at five OA sites: cervical spine, hand, shoulder, knee and foot. A review of the arthritis pain–weather literature does not find site‐specific reporting of results. While our findings presented no discernable patterns in the relationship by site, the hands seem to be more affected than other sites. Previous studies examining this relationship among OA patients have utilized sample sizes ranging from 24–53 patients [4, 15–17, 21]. While several similar studies have reported findings on individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, the current study reports results on a relatively larger group of individuals with OA (n=154). Lastly, while the majority of related studies have been conducted in colder climates, this study adds to the body of data examining this relationship in a warmer climate.

If indeed a relationship exists, how would the elucidation of this age‐old conundrum affect the quality of life for OA patients? If weather does share a relationship with OA pain, clarification of the associated weather component(s) would enhance the quality of life for millions of patients. Patberg [26] stated that manipulation of the microclimate might become a valuable addition to the treatment of OA. Past research examining this relationship employed methodological approaches that have varied widely. Future studies may want to utilize a uniform approach, reducing the likelihood of equivocal results due to design considerations. Additionally, future analyses, which could also evaluate OA stiffness as an outcome, stratified by age group, gender and site‐specific OA may serve to enhance our understanding of the mechanism(s) involved in this relationship.

Table 2.

Factors influencing the relationship between weather and pain

Pain‐related:
1. Differing classifications of disease (RA, OA, fibromyalgia, gout, etc.)
2. Severity of disease
3. Geographic area of residence
4. Length of time living in geographic area
5. Length of time since disease development
6. Age of patient
7. Exposure to natural vs artificial climate
8. Time of day of pain assessment
9. Scales of pain measurement
10. Inconsistent pain relief usage (aspirin, NSAIDs, paracetamol, narcotics; and dosage)
11. Stress and other psychological influences
12. Hormonal changes
Weather‐related:
1. Numerous weather indices (e.g. barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, precipitation)
2. Direction (e.g. barometric pressure or temperature rising/falling)
3. Season of year
4. Wet/dry climate
5. Cold/hot climate
6. Number of days lagging or leading (e.g. 5‐day lag, 1‐day lead)
7. Time of day of condition assessment (e.g. morning barometric pressure, evening wind speed)
8. Permutations of weather conditions (e.g. falling barometric pressure and rising temperature)
Pain‐related:
1. Differing classifications of disease (RA, OA, fibromyalgia, gout, etc.)
2. Severity of disease
3. Geographic area of residence
4. Length of time living in geographic area
5. Length of time since disease development
6. Age of patient
7. Exposure to natural vs artificial climate
8. Time of day of pain assessment
9. Scales of pain measurement
10. Inconsistent pain relief usage (aspirin, NSAIDs, paracetamol, narcotics; and dosage)
11. Stress and other psychological influences
12. Hormonal changes
Weather‐related:
1. Numerous weather indices (e.g. barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, precipitation)
2. Direction (e.g. barometric pressure or temperature rising/falling)
3. Season of year
4. Wet/dry climate
5. Cold/hot climate
6. Number of days lagging or leading (e.g. 5‐day lag, 1‐day lead)
7. Time of day of condition assessment (e.g. morning barometric pressure, evening wind speed)
8. Permutations of weather conditions (e.g. falling barometric pressure and rising temperature)

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Table 2.

Factors influencing the relationship between weather and pain

Pain‐related:
1. Differing classifications of disease (RA, OA, fibromyalgia, gout, etc.)
2. Severity of disease
3. Geographic area of residence
4. Length of time living in geographic area
5. Length of time since disease development
6. Age of patient
7. Exposure to natural vs artificial climate
8. Time of day of pain assessment
9. Scales of pain measurement
10. Inconsistent pain relief usage (aspirin, NSAIDs, paracetamol, narcotics; and dosage)
11. Stress and other psychological influences
12. Hormonal changes
Weather‐related:
1. Numerous weather indices (e.g. barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, precipitation)
2. Direction (e.g. barometric pressure or temperature rising/falling)
3. Season of year
4. Wet/dry climate
5. Cold/hot climate
6. Number of days lagging or leading (e.g. 5‐day lag, 1‐day lead)
7. Time of day of condition assessment (e.g. morning barometric pressure, evening wind speed)
8. Permutations of weather conditions (e.g. falling barometric pressure and rising temperature)
Pain‐related:
1. Differing classifications of disease (RA, OA, fibromyalgia, gout, etc.)
2. Severity of disease
3. Geographic area of residence
4. Length of time living in geographic area
5. Length of time since disease development
6. Age of patient
7. Exposure to natural vs artificial climate
8. Time of day of pain assessment
9. Scales of pain measurement
10. Inconsistent pain relief usage (aspirin, NSAIDs, paracetamol, narcotics; and dosage)
11. Stress and other psychological influences
12. Hormonal changes
Weather‐related:
1. Numerous weather indices (e.g. barometric pressure, temperature, wind speed, precipitation)
2. Direction (e.g. barometric pressure or temperature rising/falling)
3. Season of year
4. Wet/dry climate
5. Cold/hot climate
6. Number of days lagging or leading (e.g. 5‐day lag, 1‐day lead)
7. Time of day of condition assessment (e.g. morning barometric pressure, evening wind speed)
8. Permutations of weather conditions (e.g. falling barometric pressure and rising temperature)

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(Video) Does Weather Affect Arthritis?

FAQs

What kind of weather makes osteoarthritis worse? ›

Blame it on the rain

Many people with arthritis feel worsening symptoms before and during rainy days. A drop in pressure often precedes cold, rainy weather. This drop in pressure may cause already inflamed tissue to expand, leading to increased pain.

Does the weather have an effect on osteoarthritis? ›

In one survey of 200 people with osteoarthritis in their knee, researchers found that every 10-degree drop in temperature -- as well as low barometric pressure --corresponded to a rise in arthritis pain.

What helps barometric pressure pain? ›

Weather and Joint Pain
  1. Keep warm. Be sure to cover your arms and legs during the cool weather. ...
  2. Be active. It goes without saying that muscles that move are stronger! ...
  3. Warm baths and hot compresses. ...
  4. Paraffin wax. ...
  5. Over-the-Counter medication (OTC)
Nov 28, 2019

What is the best climate for arthritis sufferers? ›

Where are the best places to live with arthritis?
  • Grand Junction, Colorado. ...
  • Salt Lake City, Utah. ...
  • El Paso, Texas. ...
  • San Diego, California. ...
  • Palm Springs, California. ...
  • Destin, Florida. ...
  • Baltimore, Maryland. ...
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota. Even if the weather in Minneapolis is not the most osteoarthritis-friendly, the healthcare sure is.
Feb 18, 2022

What's best for osteoarthritis heat or cold? ›

For an acute injury, such as a pulled muscle or injured tendon, the usual recommendation is to start by applying ice to reduce inflammation and dull pain. Once inflammation has gone down, heat can be used to ease stiffness. For a chronic pain condition, such as osteoarthritis, heat seems to work best.

Where is the best place to live with arthritis? ›

According to the report's authors, Maryland scored the highest marks for the best state to live in with Arthritis because it has a very high concentration of rheumatologists and a low rate of residents without health insurance.

How can I stop my joints from hurting in the rain? ›

How to Reduce Weather-Induced Joint Pain
  1. Keep yourself warm: When the external temperature drops, take a warm shower to stay warm. ...
  2. Stay active: Use exercises like yoga, Pilates, and swimming, which put less pressure on the joints, to build up muscle strength.

Why do my bones hurt when it rains? ›

Before it rains, barometric pressure tends to decrease. When this happens, there's less air pressure exerting itself on your body, which may allow muscles, tendons and other tissue surrounding the joints to expand. The expansion may crowd the joints, putting extra pressure on them, which may lead to pain.

Why does my body ache when the weather changes? ›

Low barometric pressure may irritate sensitive nerves and cause tissues in your body to swell. It makes your muscles, tendons, and any scar tissue contract and expand, creating pain in the joints.

Is low or high barometric pressure better for arthritis? ›

The study, funded by Versus Arthritis, found that damp and windy days with low atmospheric pressure increased the chances of experiencing more pain than normal by around 20 per cent. Barometric pressure may affect your joints more than humidity, rainfall and temperature.

Why do arthritic joints hurt when it rains? ›

During times of rain and snow, the temperature drops and barometric pressure decreases. This can cause fluid in the joints to thicken, which makes them stiffer. If you have stiff joints, you may be more sensitive to pain during movement, making arthritis pain seem worse.

What is the most comfortable barometric pressure? ›

Vanos said people are most comfortable with barometric pressure of 30 inches of mercury (inHg). When it rises to 30.3 inHg or higher, or drops to 29.7 or lower, the risk of heart attack increases.

Can you live a long life with osteoarthritis? ›

The good news is that you can live — and live well — with osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. You can get relief from its pain and its consequences.

Is the sun good for arthritis? ›

Living in a sunnier climate may reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, according to US researchers. Their study of more than 200,000 women, published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, suggested a link between sunlight and the risk of developing the disease.

What barometric pressure hurts arthritis? ›

It also showed that low barometric pressure, low temperatures and rain can increase pain. Studies in cadavers have showed that barometric pressure can affect pressure in the joints. In one cadaver study, low atmospheric pressure threw the ball of the hip joint off track by more than one-third.

Does drinking water help arthritis? ›

Staying hydrated is vital when you live with arthritis. Hydration is key for flushing toxins out of your body, which can help fight inflammation, and well-hydrated cartilage reduces the rate of friction between bones, meaning you can move more easily.

What is the best treatment for osteoarthritis? ›

Pills. NSAIDs are the most effective oral medicines for OA. They include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) naproxen (Aleve) and diclofenac (Voltaren, others). All work by blocking enzymes that cause pain and swelling.

Which is better for arthritis Tylenol or ibuprofen? ›

Ibuprofen is more effective than acetaminophen for treating inflammatory pain conditions. Ibuprofen is FDA-approved to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, whereas acetaminophen may be used off-label for these conditions. However, acetaminophen may cause less serious side effects than ibuprofen.

What's the cause of osteoarthritis? ›

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in your joints gradually deteriorates. Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that enables nearly frictionless joint motion. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, bone will rub on bone.

Does humidity affect osteoarthritis? ›

The second study included more than 800 adults living in one of six European countries and who had osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, or hands. Although changes in weather did not seem to affect symptoms, higher humidity was linked with increasing pain and stiffness, especially in colder weather.

Does the sun make arthritis worse? ›

Prolonged exposure to sunlight without protection can be harmful to anyone, but for those with conditions like arthritis, it can be especially damaging, and it may trigger a flare-up.

Does cold weather make osteoarthritis worse? ›

While cold weather doesn't cause arthritis, it can exacerbate aches and pains. According to the Arthritis Foundation, frigid temperatures can heighten pain sensitivity, slow blood circulation and cause muscle spasms.

Why do hips hurt when it rains? ›

Low barometric pressure puts less atmospheric pressure on the body, and tissues can swell. Expanding tissues can put more pressure on your joints, and especially for already sensitive achy joints, you'll feel more pain.

Why does my arthritis hurt more at night? ›

In people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the body releases less of the anti-inflammatory chemical cortisol at night, increasing inflammation-related pain.

Why does humidity make my joints hurt? ›

According to “Nutrition Info: Dangers of Chronic Dehydration,” written by Albert Grazia, M.S., N.D., dehydration causes joint pain because joint cartilage contains large amounts of water. Hot and humid environments cause excess sweating and loss of body fluid.

Why do I feel weird during rain? ›

Pien says definitely. “Barometric pressure changes can affect inflammation in the nose and sinuses, and then can be experienced by individuals as pressure and/or pain.” So when those skies turn gray and the rain starts to fall, make sure you have your sinus medicine on hand just in case.

Why do my joints hurt when the barometric pressure changes? ›

Barometric pressure changes cause expansion and contraction of the ligaments, tendon, and cartilage within the joint and this causes the increase in pain.

Why do my bones hurt when it's cold? ›

Atmospheric pressure acting on the joints decreases in wintertime allowing the joints to expand a little bit resulting in stretching of tissues around the joint. This irritates nerve endings which causes pain.

Why does every joint in my body hurt? ›

Sometimes called wear-and-tear arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common culprit in joint pain. It occurs when the lining of the joints, called cartilage, is worn down. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, it most commonly affects the knees, hands and hips.

What is normal barometric pressure? ›

The weight of the atmosphere on the surface of the mercury exerts a pressure transmitted through the fluid, forcing it to rise. The greater the weight, the higher the rise. The barometric pressure seldom goes above 31 inches or drops below 29 inches. Normal sea-level pressure is 29.92 inches.

Is osteoarthritis an autoimmune disease? ›

Osteoarthritis is not an autoimmune disease, and although the exact causes are not known, multiple risk factors have been identified. In a healthy joint, cartilage provides cushioning and a smooth joint surface for motion.

Does arthritis make you tired? ›

Many people with arthritis say fatigue is one of their biggest challenges. Fatigue can be linked to many types of arthritis and related conditions. It's commonly a symptom of autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis and lupus.

What is the difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis? ›

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, involves the wearing away of the cartilage that caps the bones in your joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the joints, beginning with the lining of joints.

What state has the most stable barometric pressure? ›

Biggest and Smallest Ranges

Honolulu, Hawaii is the place in the US with the overall smallest range of changes in barometric pressure, ranging from 29.34 to 30.32 inHg (993.56 to 1026.75 hPa).

Why am I affected by barometric pressure? ›

When the Barometric Pressure is high, the pressure pushes more against our body and limits how much tissue can expand. On the other hand, when the atmosphere's air pressure is low, it allows our body's tissues to expand more—putting more pressure on nerves and other parts of our body.

What state has the highest barometric pressure? ›

The highest measured barometric pressure in the U.S. is 1078.6 millibars which was recorded on January 31, 1989 in eastern Alaska at Northway which reached -62 degrees.

What should you not do with osteoarthritis? ›

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the United States.
...
5 Foods to Avoid
  • Red meat and fried foods. Fried foods and red meat contain high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are known for stimulating inflammation. ...
  • Sugars. ...
  • Dairy. ...
  • Refined carbohydrates. ...
  • Alcohol and tobacco.
Dec 21, 2020

Will I end up in a wheelchair with osteoarthritis? ›

Sadly for some Osteoarthritis can lead to need to using a wheelchair. The pain while often manageable with drugs can combine with joint stiffness and loss of dexterity to require the use of a wheelchair to help alleviate the conditions.

How do you stop osteoarthritis from progressing? ›

Slowing Osteoarthritis Progression
  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Excess weight puts additional pressure on weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. ...
  2. Control Blood Sugar. ...
  3. Get Physical. ...
  4. Protect Joints. ...
  5. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle.

What barometric pressure affects arthritis? ›

It also showed that low barometric pressure, low temperatures and rain can increase pain. Studies in cadavers have showed that barometric pressure can affect pressure in the joints. In one cadaver study, low atmospheric pressure threw the ball of the hip joint off track by more than one-third.

Is osteoarthritis worse in cold weather? ›

While cold weather doesn't cause arthritis, it can exacerbate aches and pains. According to the Arthritis Foundation, frigid temperatures can heighten pain sensitivity, slow blood circulation and cause muscle spasms.

Does rainy weather affect osteoarthritis? ›

A recent study finds no connection between rainy weather and symptoms of back or joint pain. This conclusion was based on a staggering amount of data: more than 11 million medical visits occurring on more than two million rainy days and nine million dry days.

What barometric pressure causes joint pain? ›

Changes in Barometric Pressure

Low barometric pressure may irritate sensitive nerves and cause tissues in your body to swell. It makes your muscles, tendons, and any scar tissue contract and expand, creating pain in the joints.

Videos

1. Managing Arthritis Pain in the Winter
(Wellcare Medicare)
2. Weather Associated Arthritis Pain
(Reddy Care Physical Therapy)
3. HOW Weather Causes Osteoarthritis Joint Pain To Get Worse In Knees, Hips, Wrists, Hands, Etc
(Fitness Oriented)
4. What is the relationship between weather and joint pain?
(Premier Health)
5. 3 secrets to find relief from ARTHRITIS AND COLD WEATHER | Dr. Alyssa Kuhn
(Dr. Alyssa Kuhn, Arthritis Adventure)
6. How Weather Affects Pain - Arthritis, Temperature and Pressure
(KnowMotion)

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