Cold, rainy weather is a forecast for arthritis pain

Barometric pressure changes play a role too.

You’ve probably heard someone say, “It’s going to storm — I can feel it in my hip.” Think it’s just an old wives’ tale? Believe it. Research backs the claims of people with osteoarthritis feeling weather-related aches and pains.

What type of weather is worst for arthritis?

Snow, ice and freezing rain sounds like a forecast that can close schools; it also can be a forecast for joint pain.

A 2015 study published in The Journal of Rheumatology showed a significant link between humidity, temperature and joint pain. Humidity had a stronger impact on pain when temperatures were lower — meaning cold rainy or snowy days tend to cause more pain.

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A study in Rheumatology International showed that when the weather is dry and sunny, people with arthritis have less swelling and pain.

Those abrupt cold and hot fronts that cause weather events such as thunderstorms, rain and wind can cause pain as well. These fronts bring barometric pressure changes that also are linked to arthritis along with other conditions, such as migraines. The pain usually gets better after the front settles in and the barometric pressure normalizes.

I have arthritis and I’m weather-sensitive. What can I do?

Track the weather. The Arthritis Foundation has a tool called Your Local Weather that can help you predict your pain based on your ZIP code’s weather.


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