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Arthritis and Warm Weather: Separating Fact From Fiction

There is abundant anecdotal evidence relating warmer, drier weather and arthritis symptoms, and while there is some research that supports this connection, the jury is still out due to a lack of conclusive evidence – here is what is known about the connections between arthritis and weather.

Arthritis basics

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. There are many types of arthritis and the symptoms include stiffness and joint pain. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA), which is caused by repetitive movements, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is an autoimmune disease.

The prevalence of arthritis is significant. Currently, nearly a quarter of US adults over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis.

Can arthritis be cured?

Arthritis has no cure but various types of treatment can reduce inflammation and pain.

Quality of life for those suffering from arthritis can be treated with various therapies, self-care, and medication such as Xeljanz. You can learn more about this popular treatment at their site, xeljanz.com.

Arthritis and weather: facts versus myths

With so many people suffering from arthritis, all of us have heard someone say they can tell you it’s going to rain by their arthritis pain.

But studies have failed to provide any conclusive proof that weather actually affects arthritis to cause more pain during cold, rainy weather than in warm, dry weather.

However, what studies have found is that weather-related events don’t make arthritis worse, but they can temporarily influence the pain a person feels.

What type of weather influences arthritis pain?

A 2014 study found a relationship between barometric pressure and arthritis pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The study looked at patients who suffered from osteoarthritis of the hip and found that relative humidity and barometric pressure influenced symptoms.

Another study made a connection between temperature ranges, finding that each decrease in temperature by 10-degrees could be linked with an incremental increase in pain.

It also found that rising barometric pressure triggered an increase in pain.

A study also found that dropping barometric pressure, which often proceeds cold and/or rainy weather, may make tissues that are already inflamed expand, which leads to an increase in pain. This contradicts the study above that showed rising barometric pressure increased pain.

The jury is still out

All of the above conclusions demonstrate why the jury is still out when it comes to weather and arthritis pain. What affects some people doesn’t affect others.

Not only is everyone different, but everyone’s condition with arthritis is different. These factors may explain why the weather may or may not bring relief to a person’s arthritis pain.

Should you move to a warmer area have less arthritis pain?

Some people believe that moving to areas where the weather is warmer and drier weather will reduce arthritis symptoms. But will it really?

Experts say that although the warmer and drier weather may result in less pain for some people, it will not have an effect on the course of the disease nor provide a cure.

There is no evidence to support that changing where you live will make a long-term difference in rheumatoid arthritis, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

People who live in warmer climates still experience arthritis pain.

Arthritis statistics

An estimated 54.4 million US adults, about 22.7% of the adult population, have been diagnosed by a doctor as having some form of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, and fibromyalgia are also common Rheumatic conditions), according to the most current available statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data from 2013-2015.

It is more prevalent in women (23.5%) than in men (18.1%) and increases with age.

Roughly 43.5% (23.7 million) of the 54.4 million adults with arthritis have limitations in their activities of daily living due to arthritis.

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